N.Korea Backtracks Over Yeonpyeong Drills

      December 21, 2010 07:49

      Having issued dire threats of "merciless retaliation" only this weekend, the North Korean military now says it was "not worth reacting" to a South Korean artillery drill on Yeonpyeong Island on Monday. The armed forces of the North "did not feel any need to retaliate against every despicable military provocation," the North Korean Army's Supreme Command said in a statement.

      This implied that the North will not attack South Korean territory immediately as it did on Nov. 23, experts speculate. The reaction came about two hours and 30 minutes after the drill ended.

      But the North Korean state-controlled media kept up the martial rhetoric, threatening to "annihilate the strongholds of the U.S. and South Korean warmongers."

      Meanwhile, the North's official Rodong Sinmun said South Korea's plan to switch a giant steel christmas tree overlooking the demilitarized zone back on as part of the resumption of psychological warfare "is a dangerous rash act that could ignite a fresh armed clash."

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