South and North Korea exchange artillery fire at border

SEOUL - North and South Korea exchanged fire across their land border on Friday, the South's military said, after activists launched balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets into the North.

"There was an exchange of fire," an official at the Joint Chiefs of Staff office said, without elaborating.

There were no reports of any casualties.

According to South Korean media reports citing military sources, North Korean border guards had opened fire at the balloons floated across the border.

Some of that fire fell on the southern side of the border, causing the South Korean military to retaliate, the reports said.

Dozens of members of the Seoul-based Fighters for a Free North Korea had sent around 200,000 leaflets across the heavily-fortified border attached to 10 giant, gas-filled balloons.

Seoul allowed the exercise, which coincided with the 69th anniversary of North Korea's ruling party, to go ahead despite warnings from Pyongyang of "catastrophic" consequences.

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