Around 200 anti-Pyongyang activists released 50 large helium balloons carrying 350 kilograms (770 pounds) of snacks, including 10,000 Choco Pies from a park in the South Korean border city of Paju, organizers of the event said.
The humble Choco Pie — a saliva-sapping confection of chocolate-coated cake and marshmallow — has become an oft-referenced footnote in the volatile history of inter-Korean ties.
Offered as perks to North Koreans working in South Korean factories in the Kaesong joint industrial zone, Choco Pies spawned their own black market and were traded on at sharply inflated prices. The emergence of a South Korean snack as an unofficial currency became too much for the authorities in Pyongyang who in May ordered the factory owners to stop handing them out.
“Embarrassed by the growing popularity of Choco Pie, North Korea banned it as a symbol of capitalism,” said Choo Sun-Hee, one of the organizers of Wednesday’s balloon launch.
South Korean activists regularly launch balloons, usually carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets, across the border.
Pyongyang has repeatedly pressed Seoul to stop the activists and threatened to shell the launch sites.