PYONGYANG, North Korea, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- North Korea has retracted its threat to forcefully retaliate in response to a South Korean war drill that used live ammunition on an island shelled by North Korean artillery last month.
Ahead of the exercise, the North Korean official news agency KCNA reported the "intensity and scope" of its retaliation would be much worse if Seoul went ahead with its one-day live-fire drills on Yeonpyeong Island. The threat heightened malaise across the Korean Peninsula and may have put even more pressure on China to rein in its client state. But once the drill took place, North Korea climbed down from its threat, saying South Korea's drill were "not worth" a response.
"The revolutionary armed forces of the [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] did not feel any need to retaliate against every despicable military provocation," the agency said, quoting a communique from the North's Korean People's Army Supreme Command that referred to the drills as "childish play with fire."