DPRK authorities announced the decommissioning of the nuclear program
DPRK authorities announced the decommissioning of the nuclear program
BREAKING: North Korea Suspends Nuclear Missile Testing
21 April, 2018, 10:09
Leader Kim Jong Un called the completion of its nuclear weapons program a "great victory", and said that "no nuclear test and intermediate-range and inter-continental ballistic rocket test-fire are necessary for the DPRK now".
"So first, the South-North Korean summit must make a good beginning, and the dialogue between the two Koreas likely must continue after we see the results of the North Korea-United States summit", Moon said.
"North Korea's announcement signals a stepping stone for phased denuclearization", said An Chan Il, president of Seoul-based World Institute for North Korean Studies.
He added: "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 worldwide political landscape".
He said he was satisfied with the progress North Korea made past year, developing a large nuclear warhead and missile capable of carrying it to the United States. "The only thing that is important is whether or not it will lead to the completely verified and irreversible abolition of nuclear and missiles", he told reporters. Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso said it is premature to say North Korea is truly ready to give up its weapons of mass destruction.
"North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site".
Other experts cautioned that North Korea could easily reverse its stance.
Punggye-ri test site is known to be the one and only nuclear weapon facility in North Korea at the moment.
Denuclearization of North Korea has been a key issue going into the talks between the US and North Korea.
On November 20, Washington declares North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism, a day before adding to pressure on the isolated state with fresh sanctions.
The suspensions went into immediate effect on Saturday, according to state-run KCNA news agency.
The statement referred to the North's suspending of nuclear tests and missile tests as a meaningful progress toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
The news came just days after Trump announced CIA Director Mike Pompeo secretly met with Kim last week and formed a "good relationship".
Events have moved rapidly since then, catalysed by the Winter Olympics in the South, and Seoul is now pushing for a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War, raising hopes that a settlement can finally be reached on the peninsula.
South Korean President Moon said on Thursday North Korea had expressed a commitment to "complete denuclearisation" of the Korean peninsula, and had not attached conditions, but Washington had remained wary and vowed to maintain "maximum pressure" on Pyongyang. A separate meeting between Kim and President Donald Trump is anticipated in May or June.
North Korea, with an additional eight years of access to knowledge available in open source material concerning nuclear weapons design, can feel similarly comfortable with its six nuclear tests.
Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo met Kim this month to discuss a proposed summit with Trump and reported that the North Korean leader was not demanding the withdrawal of all USA forces as a precondition for the meeting, a United States official briefed on Pompeo's trip told Reuters.
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