Kim suspended plans to resume military exercises and deploy more troops near the heavily fortified border with the South in a meeting of the governing party’s Central Military Commission on Tuesday, the official KCNA news agency said on Wednesday.
In the meeting, held through video conference, members “took stock of the prevailing situation” before deciding to suspend the military plans, the report said, without elaborating.
They also discussed documents outlining measures for “further bolstering the war deterrent of the country,” it added.
The two Koreas were on a path of rapprochement beginning in January 2018 before US intransigence to relieve any of the sanctions on the North effectively killed diplomacy.
In recent weeks, North and South Koreas were headed toward an escalation over Seoul’s failure to stop North Korean defectors from sending anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets over the border.
Pyongyang recently cut off all communication lines with the South and blew up a liaison office building near their joint border to signal its displeasure with the propaganda leaflets.
On Tuesday, a South Korean military official said North Korea’s military was seen setting up loudspeakers near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas.
About 40 such systems had been removed after Pyongyang and Seoul reached an agreement in 2018 to cease “all hostile acts.”
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said on Wednesday that after Kim’s new decision, the North Korean military was seen removing the newly-installed loudspeakers on DMZ.