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North Korea’s Kim Jong Un suspends military action against South

  • FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2018, file photo, Kim Yo Jong, right, helps her brother North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sign a joint statement following the summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Paekhwawon State Guesthouse in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea has threatened to end an inter-Korean military agreement reached in 2018 to reduce tensions if the South fails to prevent activists from flying anti-Pyongyang leaflets over the border. The powerful sister of Kim Yo Jong also said Thursday, June 4, 20202, the North could permanently shut a liaison office with the South and an inter-Korean factory park in the border town of Kaesong, which have been major symbols of reconciliation between the rivals. (Pyongyang Press Corps Pool via AP, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2018, file photo, Kim Yo Jong, right, helps her brother North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sign a joint statement following the summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Paekhwawon State Guesthouse in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea has threatened to end an inter-Korean military agreement reached in 2018 to reduce tensions if the South fails to prevent activists from flying anti-Pyongyang leaflets over the border. The powerful sister of Kim Yo Jong also said Thursday, June 4, 20202, the North could permanently shut a liaison office with the South and an inter-Korean factory park in the border town of Kaesong, which have been major symbols of reconciliation between the rivals. (Pyongyang Press Corps Pool via AP, File)

SEOUL, South Korea >> North Korean leader Kim Jong Un suspended his military’s plans to take unspecified retaliatory action against South Korea, state media said today, possibly slowing a pressure campaign against its rival amid stalled nuclear negotiations with the Trump administration.

Declaring relations as fully ruptured, the North last week blew up an inter-Korean liaison office in its territory and threatened unspecified military action against the South, censuring Seoul for a lack of progress in bilateral cooperation and failing to stop activists from floating anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border.

Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency said Kim presided over a preliminary meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Military Commission, which decided to suspend plans for military action against the South brought up by the North’s military leaders. The KCNA didn’t specify why the decision was made.

The North has a history of dialing up pressure against the South when it fails to get what it wants from the United States. The North’s recent steps came after months of frustration over Seoul’s unwillingness to defy U.S.-led sanctions over its nuclear weapons program and restart inter-Korean economic projects that would breathe life into its broken economy.

Nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington began to implode after Kim’s second summit with President Donald Trump last year in Vietnam, where the Americans rejected North Korea’s demands for major sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities.

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