North Korea suspends military action plans against South Korea

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North Korea has decided to suspend military action plans against South Korea.

North Korean troops were taking down loudspeakers recently reinstalled at the fortified border.

Political tensions between the rival Koreas had been rising over Pyongyang’s objections to plans by defector-led groups in the South to send propaganda leaflets into the North.

Stalled negotiations regarding economic sanctions imposed because of the North’s nuclear weapons programme had also fuelled tensions.

It was not immediately clear why North Korea had softened its position, which came after it blew up a liaison office last week and cut off communication hotlines with the South.

North Korean leader Kim Jong presided over a video conference meeting of the ruling party’s Central Military Commission on Tuesday, where members “took stock of the prevailing situation” before deciding to suspend the military plans, the report said, without elaborating.

The committee also discussed documents outlining measures for further bolstering the war deterrent of the country.

North Korea’s military was seen removing about 10 loudspeakers near the demilitarised zone (DMZ) on Wednesday, just days after they were seen reinstalling around 20 of the devices, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, citing unnamed military sources. About 40 such systems were taken down after the two Koreas signed an accord in 2018 to cease “all hostile acts”.

A spokesman for South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which handles relations with the North, said it is monitoring the situation and had no change in its stance that inter-Korean agreements should be kept.

The ministry also confirmed reports that a number of official North Korea propaganda websites had removed some articles critical of South Korea, though the spokesman said it was unclear why.

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Leonard Tenson
Email: info@faceofmalawi.com

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