North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has chaired a meeting of the ruling party’s Central Military Commission and decided to suspend military action plans against South Korea, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing the North’s official KCNA news agency.
The meeting also discussed documents outlining measures for “further bolstering the war deterrent of the country,” KCNA said.
Political tensions between the rival Koreas have been rising over plans by groups in the South to fly propaganda leaflets over to the North, which Pyongyang claims violates an agreement between the two aimed at preventing military confrontation.
Last week, North Korea rejected South Korea’s offer to send special envoys to ease escalating bilateral tensions, and vowed to redeploy troops to demilitarized border units in the latest step towards nullifying inter-Korean peace accords.
Previously, Kim's influential younger sister Chung Eui-yong, recently appointed to one of the leading roles in the government, threatened to annihilate South Korea.
That threat came days after North Korea cut military and political communication links to South Korea, which it described as an “enemy”.
Pyongyang largely cut off contact with Seoul following the collapse of a summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Hanoi last year that left nuclear talks at a standstill.
The pair had met three times since June 2018 but made little progress towards denuclearization.
Since those talks broke down, North Korea has conducted several tests of ballistic missiles.
Pyongyang set a unilateral end-2019 deadline for Washington to offer fresh concessions. In his New Year’s message after his ultimatum to the US expired, the North Korean leader said his country would continue developing nuclear programs unless the US gave up its hostile approach.