North Korea's military said Monday it would not retaliate against South Korea's live-fire drill on a border island, accusing the "warmongers" in Seoul of deliberately stoking tensions.
"The revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK (North Korea) did not feel any need to retaliate against every despicable military provocation, like one taking revenge after facing a blow," the North's military supreme command said in a statement carried by the KCNA news agency.
It argued that the "US imperialists and the South Korean puppet military warmongers perpetrated such reckless military provocation" as Monday's 90-minute artillery exercise on the flashpoint island of Yeonpyeong.
The South Korean drill was "a product of their cunning scenario" to invite a military counteraction from the North, it said.
"This was nothing but a childish play with fire of cowards without an equal as they made much fuss," firing shells left unused during the South's earlier exercise on November 23, the statement said.
It warned that any retaliatory strikes by North Korea "will lead to blowing up the bases of the US and South Korean puppet warmongers".
But, ruling out such strikes for now, the statement concluded: "The world should properly know who is the true champion of peace and who is the real provocateur of a war."