NORTH Korea has suspended plans for military action against the South, according to state media.
Tensions between the two countries reached boiling point in recent weeks after a furious row erupted over anti-regime leaflets crossing the border into the North.
It comes after a string of aggressive actions from the North in the past month, including the blowing up of a symbolic liaison office last week.
Pyongyang confirmed it had "completely ruined" the empty facility in the border town of Kaesong.
Tension were heightened further as the North said it would redeploy troops to the demilitarised zone, while worrying images showed soldiers setting up artillery positions on Jangjae island, close to the border with the south.
But state media confirmed today that leader Kim Jong-un had called off military action in a meeting with the Central Military Commission.
During the meeting, documents were also discussed with potential measures for "further bolstering the war deterrent of the country", state news agency KCNA reported.
It marks a significant de-escalation after the leader's hawkish sister Kim Yo-jong ordered the army to "decisively carry out the next action" after the North accused Seoul of failing to stop anti-regime leaflets circulating across the border.
Just yesterday, the North installed loudspeakers to blare propaganda across the border.
State media also reported that that 12 million pro-regime leaflets had been printed and 3,000 hot air balloons prepared to take them into the South.
The recent escalation posed a diplomatic headache for South Korean president Moon Jae-In, whose offer to send special envoys to ease tensions was rejected definitively by Pyongyang.
Responding to the aggression, a spokeswoman at Seoul's defence ministry told a briefing that Pyongyang would "have to pay for the consequences" if it continues to defy joint efforts to foster peace.
Analysts have remarked that the leader's sister Kim Yo-jong has now emerged as the North's toughest advocate of further action against the South.
She has been described as "cold and ruthless", with experts suggesting she has one eye on the leadership of the country after a meteoric rise to power in the past two years.
The two countries reached a tentative peace deal during talks in 2018 – agreeing to finally try and bring an official end to the Korean War after 60 years of deadlock.
The two Koreas were officially divided in 1948, before the Soviet Union-backed North invaded the US-backed South just two years later.
A bloody conflict was waged – almost acting as a proxy for the Cold War – before being ended with an armistice in 1953.
The North is now thought to be applying pressure in the hope of securing relief from crippling international economic sanctions.
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