After some of the most heated confrontations since the Korean War ended in 1953, North Korea over the last two or three weeks has suddenly started to blow appreciably cooler. The question is why. A sea change seems to have come after South Korea staged live-fire manoeuvres on islands adjacent to North Korea in the Yellow Sea, and North Korea answered back with artillery fire that took the lives of four people. In the North's annual New Year commentary, Pyongyang called for better relations with the South, warning that war could lead to a "nuclear holocaust."
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