SEOUL, South Korea (NEWSnet/AP) — North Korea resumed launches of balloons Monday night that are likely intended to dump trash into South Korea, the Seoul military said, in the latest round of a border spat on the Korean Peninsula.

The latest balloon launches came days after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a major defense deal.

A statement from South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the North Korean balloons were moving southeast. Earlier Monday, the authority noted that winds were forecast in a direction favorable for the balloon launches.

The statement asked South Korean citizens not to touch North Korean balloons and report them to military and police authorities. The military didn’t say how it would respond to new balloon launches.

Separately, Seoul’s city government sent text messages telling citizens to beware of any falling object as the balloons were flying above the capital, an hour’s drive from the border.

The trash balloon incident began in late May when North Korea launched more than 1,000 balloons that dropped manure, cigarette butts, scraps of cloth, waste batteries and vinyl in various parts of South Korea.

No highly dangerous materials were found.

North Korea said its balloon campaign was a tit-for-tat action against South Korean activists who had used balloons to fly political leaflets critical of its leadership across the border.

North Korea views front-line South Korean broadcasts and civilian leafleting campaigns as a grave provocation because it bans access to foreign news for most of its 26 million residents. South Korean officials don’t restrict sending leaflets to North Korea; a court ruling last year called such activity a free speech matter.

The trash that was sent across the border included paper, vinyl, cloth scraps and plastic bottles.

The U.S. stations about 28,000 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War that ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the Korean Peninsula in a technical state of war.

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