North Korea says planned military retaliation against South suspended

North Korean officials said Wednesday that a planned military retaliation against South Korea had been postponed by its leader, Kim Jong Un.

The Associated Press reported that North Korean state media said the decision was made a day earlier during a meeting of the Workers’ Party’s Central Military Commission presided over remotely by Kim, though it was unclear when the initial proposal or decision for military retaliation had been made.

“What’s clear is that the North said [military retaliation] was postponed, not canceled,” Kim Dong-yub, an analyst with the Institute for Far Eastern Studies, told the AP.

A senior North Korean official added in a separate statement carried by KCNA that future retaliation against South Korea would depend on the nation’s “attitude and actions,” according to the AP.

One of North Korea’s highest-ranking officials, Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong, publicly threatened military action against the South earlier this month, apparently due to declining bilateral cooperation with South Korea’s government as well as an ongoing propaganda leaflet campaign organized by North Korean defectors in the South.

“Getting stronger day by day are the unanimous voices of all our people demanding for surely settling accounts with the riff-raff who dared hurt the absolute prestige of our Supreme Leader representing our country and its great dignity and flied rubbish to the inviolable territory of our side and with those who connived at such hooliganism, whatever may happen,” she said.

In the past, South Korean officials have ordered the suspension of leaflet campaigns amid periods of high tension with the North. The most recent campaign occurred just days ago and was not successfully halted by local officials.

South Korea’s government has indicated that anyone who participates in airlifting propaganda leaflets into the North will be prosecuted.

“The [Republic of Korea Government] carried out measures to suspend the act of flying leaflets to the North on numerous occasions, taking note that such action can raise tensions in the border area,” read a press release from South Korea’s government. “Such action of distributing leaflets should be ceased as it not only poses a risk to the lives and property of our nationals living in the border area, but also hinders inter-Korean quarantine cooperation.”

Tags Kim Jong Un North Korea South Korea

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