June 24, 2020 10:44
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un broke his silence Tuesday to call off "action plans" against South Korea. The official Rodong Shinmun reported Wednesday Kim called off its military action plans against Seoul in a "preliminary" meeting ahead of a Workers Party gathering.
The 11th-hour de-escalation comes after North Korea ratcheted up tensions by threatening retaliatory steps over propaganda leaflets being sent across the border by South Korean activists.
This was followed by a warning last week by Kim's sister Yo-jong, who has been cast as the bad cop in the recent theatricals, that she "gave instructions to the arms of the department in charge of the affairs with enemy to decisively carry out the next action." Then the North Korean military said that it will deploy troops to the Mt. Kumgang resort and the Kaesong Industrial Complex.
At least eight South Korean and U.S. spy planes were scrambled on Monday, when the North reinstalled propaganda loudspeakers in the demilitarized zone.
According to flight tracking website No Callsign, a South Korean early warning and control aircraft dubbed "Peace Eye," an RC-135W Rivet Joint strategic reconnaissance aircraft of the U.S. Air Force, and six RC-12X Guardrail tactical reconnaissance aircraft of the U.S. Forces Korea monitored North Korean military activities that day.
Meanwhile, three U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carriers are converging in the western Pacific as the U.S. rattles the saber at China. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in a press release Monday said the USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Nimitz strike groups started flight operations in the Philippine Sea.
The USS Ronald Reagan, which belongs to the Seventh Fleet, is also currently operating in waters between Japan and the Philippines.
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