World

Media report says rival Koreas trade fire over propaganda balloon released at border

  • North Koran defectors prepare to release balloons carrying leaflets condemning North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his government's policies in Paju, near the border with North Korea, South Korea, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. For the first time in three years, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un didn't appear at a celebration of the anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party on Friday, further increasing speculation that something is amiss with the authoritarian leader who hasn't been seen publicly in more than a month. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    North Koran defectors prepare to release balloons carrying leaflets condemning North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his government's policies in Paju, near the border with North Korea, South Korea, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. For the first time in three years, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un didn't appear at a celebration of the anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party on Friday, further increasing speculation that something is amiss with the authoritarian leader who hasn't been seen publicly in more than a month. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)  (The Associated Press)

  • North Koran defectors carry plastic bags containing leaflets condemning North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his government's policies which are attached to balloons in Paju, near the border with North Korea, South Korea, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014.  For the first time in three years, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un didn't appear at a celebration of the anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party on Friday, further increasing speculation that something is amiss with the authoritarian leader who hasn't been seen publicly in more than a month. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    North Koran defectors carry plastic bags containing leaflets condemning North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his government's policies which are attached to balloons in Paju, near the border with North Korea, South Korea, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. For the first time in three years, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un didn't appear at a celebration of the anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party on Friday, further increasing speculation that something is amiss with the authoritarian leader who hasn't been seen publicly in more than a month. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)  (The Associated Press)

  • North Koran defectors prepare to release balloons carrying leaflets condemning North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his government's policies in Paju, near the border with North Korea, South Korea, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. The letters at balloons read "End the world's worst three generation dictatorship and Down with Kim Jong Un." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    North Koran defectors prepare to release balloons carrying leaflets condemning North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his government's policies in Paju, near the border with North Korea, South Korea, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. The letters at balloons read "End the world's worst three generation dictatorship and Down with Kim Jong Un." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)  (The Associated Press)

A news report says North and South Korea have traded fire after the North shot at a South Korean propaganda balloon.

The South's Defense Ministry couldn't immediately confirm the report.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency said North Korea fired at the balloon near the South Korean border town of Yeoncheon on Friday.

The reported firing comes as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been out of public view for more than a month. This has fueled speculation that something may be amiss in the authoritarian country.

South Korean activists and North Korean defectors frequently release balloons carrying anti-North Korean leaflets into the North. North Korea said Thursday that it would consider any more releases an act of war, but it regularly issues such rhetoric in its state media.