China is probing suspicious random international parcels appearing in some places in South Korea under the request of the South Korean side, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Monday.
Speaking at a press conference, Mao said that China will maintain communication with the South Korean side over the issue.
Nearly 700 suspicious international parcels had been received from across the South Korean border during a recent period. After analyzing 679 of the packages collected for investigation, South Korea's Office for Government Policy Coordination, under the Prime Minister's Office, said on Monday that they had found no connection of these parcels to terrorism so far, noting that no toxic or hazardous substances were identified, the Yonhap News Agency (YNA) reported.
The South Korean government is reportedly considering the possibility of a so-called brushing scam, in which a package not ordered by a person is sent from an international sender with the intention of writing fake reviews to give the impression that the recipient is a verified buyer who has written positive online reviews, according to the YNA.
The issue came to light when three people working at a welfare center for the disabled in Ulsan, South Korea were rushed to the hospital after opening a random parcel delivered from China's Taiwan island. They reportedly complained of dizziness and difficulty breathing. South Korea's Postal Service temporarily suspended suspicious international packages on Friday amid growing concerns.
The suspicious packages were found to have originated from the Chinese mainland, media based in the Taiwan island reported on Saturday citing local authorities. Based on information provided by the customs administration in the island, the package was confirmed to have been sent from the mainland and transshipped to South Korea by the postal service Chunghwa Post Co from the island.