North Korea

North Korea Suspends Planned Military Action Against South

Kim Jong Un made the decision during a video conference meeting with military officials.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has suspended planned military action against South Korea.

Pyongyang had threatened unspecified retaliation after criticising recent activism and lack of bilateral cooperation coming from the South.

Tensions have spiked between the territories in the last month, following Seoul's failure to stop balloons containing anti-Pyongyang leaflets making their way across the border.

Last week, relations soured further when the North destroyed an inter-Korean liaison office in its territory and announced it would redeploy troops to the border.

The latest announcement from North Korea marks an apparent cooling of its pressure campaign against its rival amid stalled nuclear negotiations with the US.

The North's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) offered no explanation behind the stalled military action.

It reported Kim Jong Un had led a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Military Commission by video conference, during which time the decision was made.

According to KCNA, other discussions included bolstering the country’s "war deterrent".

Yoh Sang-key, a spokesman for South Korea’s Unification Ministry, said Seoul was "closely reviewing" the report.

Analysts say the act could be a ploy to make room for South Korean concessions in the form of sanction relief.

If Mr Kim does eventually opt for military action, many expect artillery drills and exercises in frontline areas or North Korean vessels to deliberately cross the disputed western maritime border between the Koreas.

However, it is thought such action would be measured to prevent full-scale retaliation from South Korean and US forces.

Cover image: Kim Jong Un watches on during projectile tests in 2019 (Picture: KCTV).