On Saturday North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un announced in a state-run media channel that it will be halting nuclear missile tests. U.S. President Donald Trump said of North Korea’s move in a tweet Saturday. “Look forward to our Summit”, Trump said in a message on Twitter.
“The prospect of talks between North Korea and the U.S. is one that we must pursue and it’s a sign that North Korea may well be genuine in looking to denuclearise in the longer term”.
On Thursday, the USA leader said there was a “bright path available to North Korea when it achieves denuclearisation”.A spokesperson for the South Korean president called the North’s move “meaningful progress”.
The country says it’s making the move to shift its national focus and improve its economy.
“The northern nuclear test ground of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) will be dismantled to transparently guarantee the discontinuance of the nuclear test”, KCNA said after Kim convened a plenary session of the Central Committee of the ruling Worker’s Party on Friday.
Despite the statement, Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said it was not the time to ease pressure on North Korea.
January 1, 2018: Kim says in his New Year’s address that he has a nuclear button on his desk, but also calls for improved relations with South Korea.
For years, the impoverished North has pursued a “byungjin” policy of “simultaneous development” of both the military and the economy.
“As North Korea already has nuclear weapons, its decision to halt additional nuclear tests is not meaningful”, LKP spokesman Choung Tae-ok said in a commentary.
“We no longer need any nuclear test or test launches of intermediate and intercontinental range ballistic missiles and because of this the northern nuclear test site has finished its mission”.
On Sept. 3, North Korea conducts its sixth and largest nuclear test. Monitoring groups estimate a yield of 250 kilotons, which is 16 times the size of the 15-kiloton USA bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.
Kim has long said he wants his country to be recognised as a nuclear power, but nations including South Korea and the U.S. want him to dismantle his arsenal.
“North Korea is expressing its intention for complete denuclearisation and it is not making demands that the US can not accept, such as the withdrawal of the USA forces in Korea”, Moon said on Thursday.
“It is a moratorium on testing, but recommits North Korea to nuclear weapons status”. He was quoted saying “We will surely pay close attention”.
Last year, Pyongyang tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile it said could reach the entire USA mainland, raising the prospect that Kim could realistically follow through on his threat to target the US.