North Korea freezes missile, nuclear tests; world hails move

North Korea freezes missile, nuclear tests; world hails move

North Korea announced that it will suspend nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile launches ahead of its summits with Seoul and Washington, but stopped short of suggesting it has any intention of giving up its hard-won nuclear arsenal.

The leader of North Korea decided to make it public that his country wouldn't be involved in any further testing of nuclear capabilities just one week prior to a slated meetup between Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in, the President of South Korea.

Although Pyongyang said it would abolish its nuclear test site, there was no indication it was planning to get rid of its existing weapons.

He reiterated the commitment and support of the United Nations system in that endeavor and wished successes to the leaders of the two Koreas in 'their courageous and important task of resuming a honest dialogue'.

It's unbelievable that North Korea has begun to transform - at least based on Kim Jong Un's recent actions in terms of his willingness to meet with world leaders, all of which came after the 2018 Winter Olympics, held in the capital of South Korea.

But Kim told the Workers' Party meeting: "A fresh climate of detente and peace is being created on the Korean peninsula and the region and dramatic changes are being made in the global political landscape". He also praised the establishment of a direct telephone link between the leaders of North and South Korea.

His decision was welcomed by the world leaders, with US President Donald Trump describing it as "good news" for the world, and South Korea calling it "meaningful progress".

Kim said he would "never use nuclear weapons unless there is a nuclear threat" or "transfer nuclear weapons or nuclear technology" to outsiders.

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North Korea on Saturday announced freezing of its missile tests along with shutting down of a nuclear test site, a significant development that received a broad worldwide welcome.

European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement that the North's announcement has to lead to its complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.

The US is seeking the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the North, while according to Moon, Pyongyang wants security guarantees, potentially leaving much space for disagreement.

Several factors have driven the Korean rapprochement, including the North feeling that it can now negotiate from a position of strength, concern about the belligerence of the Trump administration, and the looming impact of sanctions.

Another meeting between Kim and also U.S. President Donaldtrump will be likely in May or even June.

The announcement comes as Trump's team is negotiating with Kim's about particulars of a hoped-for summit in the coming months.

North Korea said early Saturday it has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests and plans to close its nuclear test site.

The North's decisions were made in a meeting of the ruling party's full Central Committee which had convened to discuss a "new stage" of policies.

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