Kim Jong-un ‘suspends military action’ against South

Kim Jong-un 'suspends military action' against South
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un suspends military action against South. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: North Korean state media says the country has suspended plans for “military action” against South Korea.

Tensions have been rising due to tide of angry rhetoric from the North over activist plans to send leaflets with anti-North Korean messages over the border.

The North blew up the joint liaison office last week and also threatened to take military action by sending troops to the border area.

The Central Military Commission made its decision after taking what it called the “prevailing situation” into consideration.

According to report of Yonhap, the North also began to dismantle loudspeakers it had erected only last week, traditionally used to blast anti-South Korean messages over the border.

The recent steps taken by the North represent a notable de-escalation in rhetoric after Mr Kim’s sister, Kim Yo-jong’s orders to the army to “decisively carry out the next action”.

State news agency KCNA reported that the meeting also discussed documents outlining measures for “further bolstering the war deterrent of the country.”

Why has there been military action threat?

Tensions between South and North Korea appeared to be on the mend in 2018, when leaders of both countries met for the first time at the border.

The historic summit saw both sides pledge to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons. In the months that followed, there were efforts to improve ties and maintain dialogue.

But the relationship has been on a downward spiral after a failed summit between US President Donald Trump and Mr Kim Jong-un.

And the recent weeks saw relations got soured rapidly – prompted by defector groups in the South sending propaganda across the border.

South Korean activists typically send balloons that carry objects like leaflets, USB sticks or DVDs with South Korean news reports or even Korean dramas as well as criticism of the Pyongyang regime.

All of this is aimed at breaking the North’s control on domestic information with the hope that people might eventually topple the regime from within.

The South Korean government has already tried to stop defecto groups who are sending leaflets across the border. The government argued these group’s actions put residents near the border at risk.

The move prompted North Korea to renew threats of military action – and shortly afterward it blew up a joint liaison office that it had established with the South in 2018.

But it is not exactly clear what provoked North Korea to escalate the situation.

Fyodor Tertitskiy of Kookmin University in Seoul had earlier told: “I very much doubt that it’s the leaflets that actually motivated Pyongyang in this.”

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