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N. Korean leader suspends military action plans near inter-Korean border Updated: 2020-06-24 10:01:42 KST

Our top story this afternoon.
Just three days after North Korea started re-installing propaganda loudspeakers along the border, they appear to be removing them again.
For more, let's go to Hong Yoo, our correspondent for North Korean affairs.
How many loudspeakers are being removed and is Seoul seeing this as a sign the North is taking a step back from raising tensions?

Mark, according to a South Korean military source, the North Koreans were observed removing around 10 propaganda loudspeakers they had installed at the border near the Peace Observatory in Gangwon-do Province.
The removal process started a few hours ago.
A source from South Korea's military said the North started reinstalling at least 30 loudspeakers from Sunday.
The loudspeakers are used to blast out anti-South Korea propaganda at the border.
But the two Koreas removed all of them after they agreed through the Panmunjeom Declaration in 2018 that they would stop all hostile actions, such as anti-state broadcasts and the dropping of propaganda leaflets.
The reinstallation had come as tension on the Korean peninsula escalated due to the anti-Pyeongyang leaflets being sent over the border by North Korean defectors.
Seoul's Unification Ministry says it's closely monitoring and analyzing North Korea's recent movements.
It also re-emphasized that the South Korean government is strong on its stance that the 2018 inter-Korean agreement must be adhered to.

People are wondering about the North's sudden decision to remove the loudspeakers. Do we have any clue regarding the regime's rapid change of heart or its motivation for doing this?

Well Mark, the move comes after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, during a preliminary meeting of the Central Military Commission on Tuesday, made the decision to suspend the "military action plans" the regime had previously said it would take toward South Korea.
The North's military had warned last Tuesday what its next steps would be in response to the sending of anti-Pyeongyang leaflets by North Korean defectors.
Those steps included positioning troops in the areas around Mount Geumgang and the Gaeseong Industrial Complex, making guard posts in the Demilitarized Zone, and sending anti-South Korea leaflets across the border.
It remains unclear if they'll decide to send the leaflets.
Other things they discussed during Tuesday's meeting were major military policies that the regime is working on, and ways to strengthen the North's military deterrent.
The meeting was held via videoconference and it was the first time a preliminary meeting of the Central Military Commission has been held during Kim Jong-un's reign.
Back to you, Mark.
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