North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said his country no longer needed any nuclear or intercontinental ballistic missile tests because it has completed its goal of developing nuclear weapons, the state media reported. It added the nation will suspend all nuclear tests and abolish a nuclear test site. This comes ahead of planned meetings with South Korea and the US.
On Saturday, North Korea said, “it has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests and plans to close its nuclear test site.”
North Korea did not make it clear that it would be willing to deal away its armory. But the announcement came ahead of a new round of nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang, Seoul, and Washington.
Although the North rather expressed confidence about its nuclear force, which leader Kim Jong Un declared as complete in November after a slew of weapons tests that included the underground detonation of a purported thermonuclear warhead and flight tests of three intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Some analysts believe Kim is entering the negotiations from a position of strength and is unlikely to accept a significant cut in his arsenal. South Korean and US officials have said Kim is likely trying to save his broken economy from heavy sanctions,
After the announcement, Saturday about testing, US President Donald Trump tweeted, “North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site. This is very good news for North Korea and the World – big progress! Look forward to our Summit”
He also said he’s looking forward to his upcoming summit with Kim.
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said: “the country is making the move to shift its national focus and improve its economy.”
The North also promise to actively engage with regional neighbors and the international community to secure peace in the Korean Peninsula and create an “optimal international environment” to build its economy.
The announcements came days before Kim is set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in in a border truce village for a rare summit aimed at resolving the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang.
A separate meeting between Kim and Trump is anticipated in May or June.
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.