CIA director Leon Panetta says he doesn't think the skirmishes involving North Korea will lead to a military confrontation on the Korean peninsula.
International investigators concluded last month that North Korea torpedoed a South Korean warship near the Korean sea border. North Korea has denied the allegation and warned any punishment would trigger war.
Panetta tells ABC's "This Week" that for many years, "we've been going through these kinds of provocations and skirmishes with a rogue regime."
Panetta says that in the end, "they always back away from the brink and I think they'll do that now."
He says the attack could be related to who might succeed North Korean leader Kim Jong Il — possibly his youngest son.
Special: Tea Party Secrets: Who Is Really Behind the Revolution?
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.