Image: Members of Seoul-based aid group North Korea Peace release a large balloon carrying socks toward the North
Jung Yeon-Je  /  AFP - Getty Images
Members of Seoul-based aid group North Korea Peace release a large balloon carrying socks in Paju near the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas Saturday.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 1/28/2012 2:24:37 AM ET 2012-01-28T07:24:37

South Korean activists sent warm socks and messages attached to balloons toward North Korea Saturday, according to the AFP news agency.

About 1,000 pairs were attached to the five large gas-filled balloons, which were launched in the northern South Korean city of Paju, the AFP reported.

The Seoul-based group North Korea Peace said the messages sent with each pair of socks were "politically innocuous."

"We're not interested in sending political messages or sparking any troubles there. All we want is that people in the North wear warm socks over their frozen feet," Sunny Kim, a spokeswoman for the activists, told AFP.

Slideshow: Daily life in North Korea (on this page)

"Warm socks are so rare and they can easily be traded for cash in the North. One pair of socks fetches about 22 poundsĀ  of corn, which is enough to sustain a person for a month," Kim added.

Balloon food, propaganda
Earlier this month, defectors from the North sent packages of food by balloon to their former country ahead of the Lunar New Year.

In December, following the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong il, defectors from the North and southern activists sent giant balloons containing tens of thousands of propaganda leaflets across the border.

Video: Defectors send food by balloon to North Korea (on this page)

The leaflets contained messages opposing another hereditary power transfer in North Korea, as well as portraits of Kim Jong Il and heir Kim Jong Un.

Slideshow: Journey into North Korea (on this page)

North Korea has warned in the past that it would fire at South Korea in response to such actions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photos: Life in North Korea

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  1. Performers make the shape of the map of the Korean Peninsula as people in the stands holding cards create a scene depicting the reunification of the two Koreas at Rungnado May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Aug. 6, 2007. The event is the largest choreographed gymnastics display in the world, with more than 100,000 dancers taking part. The stadium seats 150,000. (Elizabeth Dalziel / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Two women prepare to bow before the statue of late North Korean leader Kim Il Sung on Mansu Hill in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Aug. 5, 2007. (Elizabeth Dalziel / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. A North Korean sailor poses for a snapshot Aug. 5, 2007, with Chinese tourists aboard the USS Pueblo in Pyongyang, North Korea. The spy ship was boarded and seized by North Korea in 1968 and its crew held prisoner for 11 months in a tense Cold War crisis. (Elizabeth Dalziel / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. People enjoy a day at the beach in Nampho, North Korea, about 30 miles southwest of Pyongyang, on Aug. 5, 2007. (Elizabeth Dalziel / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A man looks down from the balcony of his apartment in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Aug. 5, 2007. (Elizabeth Dalziel / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Commuters make their way through a subway station in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Aug. 7, 2007. (Elizabeth Dalziel / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. A few vehicles and a lone cyclist travel along a road on the outskirts of Pyongyang, North Korea, on Aug. 5, 2007. Roads almost free of privately owned vehicles are a common sight in the country. (Elizabeth Dalziel / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Elizabeth Dalziel / AP
    Above: Slideshow (7) Daily life in North Korea
  2. Image:
    David Guttenfelder / AP
    Slideshow (53) Journey into North Korea

Video: Defectors send balloon packages to North Korea

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