U.S. President Donald Trump has shown excitement at the decision of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un to suspend all nuclear and missile tests.
China Saturday also said it welcomed North Korea’s decision to halt nuclear tests and intercontinental missile launches, with Pyongyang’s chief ally saying the move would help promote denuclearisation in the flashpoint region.
Trump tweeted shortly after the announcement from Pyongyang that Kim has declared that he would suspend nuclear and missile tests starting from Saturday and that he would shut down the site where the previous six nuclear tests were conducted.
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”.
North Korea’s KCNA reported that Kim said the regime no longer needs nuclear tests or intercontinental ballistic missile tests.
“Under the proven condition of complete nuclear weapons, we no longer need any nuclear tests, mid-range and intercontinental ballistic rocket tests, and that the nuclear test site in northern area has also completed its mission,” KCNA quoted Kim as saying.
The surprising announcement came just six days before Kim is set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in, preparatory to a historic summit between Kim and Trump.
Trump is set to meet Kim at the end of May or beginning of June; however, a location has not yet been set.
Welcoming the decision, the authorities at China said, “China believes the decision to stop nuclear tests and focus on developing the economy and improving people’s living standards will help further ease the situation on the Korean peninsula and help to promote the process of denuclearisation and attempts to find a political settlement,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement.
“China will support North Korea … (to engage in) dialogue and consultation with the relevant parties.”
The surprise announcement comes less than a week before the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a summit in the Demilitarised Zone that divides the peninsula, ahead of an eagerly-awaited encounter with US President Donald Trump.
However, Kim gave no indication Pyongyang might be willing to give up its nuclear weapons, or the missiles with which it can reach the mainland United States.
For years, the impoverished North has pursued a “byungjin” policy of “simultaneous development” of both the military and the economy.
But the leader said that now North Korea was a powerful state, “the whole party and country” should concentrate on “socialist economic construction.”