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NK leader puts military on hold in taking action against South

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is seen speaking at a meeting held on June 7. (Yonhap)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is seen speaking at a meeting held on June 7. (Yonhap)

North Korean soldiers were spotted dismantling propaganda loudspeakers on Wednesday, a day after the country’s leader Kim Jong-un put on hold military actions against South Korea.

According to the North’s state media Korean Central News Agency, Kim on Tuesday presided over a preparatory Central Military Commission meeting and put on hold plans proposed by the General Staff Department of the Korean People’s Army.

On June 14, the North had announced plans to increase military presence along the inter-Korean border and to resume propaganda activities as part of Pyongyang’s retaliation against propaganda flyers being sent by nongovernmental organizations in South Korea.

The announcement came only a few days after Kim Yo-jong, North Korean leader’s sister and a ranking member of the North Korean Workers’ Party of Korea, declared that she has instructed the military to draw up actions against the South.

The plans include reestablishing military presence in the Kaesong industrial park and the Kumgangsan resort and reoccupying guard posts inside the Demilitarized Zone.

While the North Korean leader has delayed the military’s actions against the South, the KCNA report indicated that Pyongyang has not fully moved away from raising tensions on the peninsula.

“(At the meeting) military policy agenda that will be submitted to the Central Military Commission meeting was reviewed, and various documents that reflect national measures for further strengthening the country’s war deterrence were discussed,” the report said.

The North claims its nuclear weapons program is aimed at devising ways to prevent war, specifically invasion by the US.

Following Kim’s decision, the North’s military was on Wednesday spotted dismantling propaganda loudspeakers along the border in Gangwon Province, days after the speakers were reinstalled.

The North Korean military reinstalled loudspeakers on Sunday, and it is believed that they have been put up in at least 30 locations.

The loudspeakers were removed on both sides of the border following the first summit between President Moon Jae-in and Kim held on April 27, 2018.

With North Korea reinstalling the loudspeakers, South Korean military was reported to be considering whether to respond in kind.

South Korea’s propaganda loudspeakers are said to be audible over a much longer distance than those from North Korea, and have in the past been targeted from across the border.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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