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N. Korea sits tight on South’s exercise

North Korea said it would not react to “reckless” military drills by the South yesterday, despite an earlier threat to retaliate, and CNN reported that Pyongyang had agreed to the return of nuclear inspectors.

North Korea said it would not react to “reckless” military drills by the South yesterday, despite an earlier threat to retaliate, and CNN reported that Pyongyang had agreed to the return of nuclear inspectors.

Air-raid bunkers on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong shook during the live-fire artillery exercise, which went on for over 90 minutes.

But the North Korean guns that had shelled the island after a similar drill last month stayed silent, bringing a measure of relief in a crisis that has raised fears of war.

“The revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK did not feel any need to retaliate against every despicable military provocation,” the official KCNA news agency said, quoting a communique from the North’s Korean People’s Army Supreme Command that called the drills a “childish play with fire.”

The U.N. Security Council remained deadlocked in its efforts to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula.

“Having IAEA inspectors back in Pyongyang looking around is better than not having them, but Pyongyang is still using the same playbook: pursue provocative behavior, threaten the international community and then come up with some conciliatory gesture,” said Nicholas Szechenyi, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

US:?We’ll wait, see on nukes

WASHINGTON – The United States said North Korea’s reported offer to re-engage with the International Atomic Energy Agency could be a positive move, but cautioned that it was too early to judge whether the offer was genuine.

“If North Korea wants to re-engage with the IAEA, wants to reintroduce inspectors into its facilities, that certainly would be a positive step,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told a news briefing.

 
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