Seoul-North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has suspended plans for military action against the South, state media reported Wednesday in an apparent sudden dialling-down of tensions after Pyongyang blew up a liaison office.

In recent weeks, Pyongyang has issued a series of vitriolic condemnations of Seoul over anti-North leaflets, which defectors based in the South send across the border -- usually attached to balloons or floated in bottles.

Last week it blew up a liaison office on its side of the border that symbolised inter-Korean rapprochement, while its military said it would take multiple measures against the South. The moves included re-entering areas of the North that it had withdrawn from as part of inter-Korean projects, restoring guard posts in the Demilitarized Zone that forms the border, and stepping up exercises.

But the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said Kim on Tuesday presided over a Central Military Commission meeting that “suspended the military action plans against the south”.

The North also began removing loudspeakers on Wednesday from border areas, which they had started setting up just two days ago to broadcast anti-South propaganda, the South’s Yonhap news agency reported, citing unnamed sources. The apparently conciliatory moves by Pyongyang are unusual, and come after analysts said it was seeking to manufacture a crisis on the peninsula in an effort to extract concessions.

Seoul had retorted with uncharacteristically stern criticism to Pyongyang’s blowing-up of the liaison office and harsh condemnation of President Moon Jae-in by Kim’s sister Kim Yo Jong, saying it will “no longer tolerate” the North’s “unreasonable acts and words”.

But the nuclear-armed North “is by no means done threatening South Korea or bolstering its so-called deterrent”, Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, told AFP.

“The Kim regime had domestic political boxes to check and may be presently satisfied with public unity.”