In this March 20, 2020 photo provided by the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK leader Kim Jong-un supervises an artillery firing competition between army units in the country's west. (KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY / KOREA NEWS SERVICE VIA AP)
SEOUL – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader Kim Jong-un presided over a meeting of the ruling party’s Central Military Commission and decided to suspend military action plans against the Republic of Korea (ROK), the official KCNA news agency reported on Wednesday.
The video conference meeting on Tuesday also discussed documents outlining measures for “further bolstering the war deterrent of the country,” KCNA reported.
Political tensions between the rival Koreas have been rising over Pyongyang’s objections to plans by defector-led groups in the ROK to fly propaganda leaflets over to the DPRK
"At the preliminary meeting, the WPK Central Military Commission took stock of the prevailing situation and suspended the military action plans against the South brought for the fifth meeting of the Seventh Central Military Commission by the General Staff of the Korean People's Army," the report reads.
"The meeting examined agenda items of major military policy to be laid before the fifth meeting of the Seventh WPK Central Military Commission, and made a study of a report and decisions, which will be submitted to the fifth meeting, and some documents carrying the state measures for further bolstering the war deterrent of the country."
Political tensions between the rival Koreas have been rising over Pyongyang’s objections to plans by defector-led groups in the ROK to fly propaganda leaflets over to the DPRK.
The DPRK claims the moves violate an agreement between the two aimed at preventing military confrontation, and accused the defectors of insulting the dignity of the DPRK supreme leadership.
In recent weeks, the DPRK blew up a joint liaison office on its side of the border, declared an end to dialogue with the ROK, and threatened military action.
Kim’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, a senior ruling party official, warned last week of retaliatory measures against the ROK that could involve the military, without elaborating.
The General Staff of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) later said it had been studying an “action plan” that included sending troops into the Mount Kumgang tourist area and the Kaesong Industrial Zone, reoccupying border guard posts that had been abandoned under an inter-Korean pact, taking steps to “turn the front line into a fortress,” and supporting plans for the DPRK to send its own propaganda leaflets into the ROK.
DPRK’s military was seen putting up loudspeakers near the demilitarised zone (DMZ), a military source told Reuters on Tuesday. Such systems were taken down after the two Koreas signed an accord in 2018 to cease “all hostile acts.”
A report by the DPRK -monitoring website 38 North on Tuesday said that anti-ROK rhetoric from the DPRK over the past week had left room for flexibility.
However, “even if North Korea avoids a serious escalation of tensions, it is still unlikely to pursue further diplomacy with (South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s) administration anytime in the near future,” the report said.
The DPRK is also referred to as North Korea and ROK as South Korea.
The website predicted that Pyongyang could soon turn to more heated criticism of the United States.
With Xinhua inputs
HONG KONG NEWS