North Korea announced on Friday that it would suspend all nuclear and missile tests as peace negotiations continue. The cancellation of these projects is a show of good will as North Korea, historically a rogue power on the Korean peninsula, is in the process of meeting with Chinese, South Korean, and American leadership.
President Trump now stands alone in history as the first U.S. President to get North Korea to denuclearize.
BREAKING: North Korea says it has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests, plans to close nuclear test site.
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 20, 2018
Per NBC News:
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced Friday evening that the country has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests, claiming further tests are unnecessary.
Kim also announced his regime will shut down a nuclear test ground in the northern part of the country.
North Korea has “reached the target stage, where the nation and people’s safety is reliably secured,” Kim said. The next stage, he said, is building on efforts to denuclearize, “which is the peace-loving platform of our party.”
“This is very good news for North Korea and the World – big progress! Look forward to our Summit,” President Trump tweeted, shortly after the announcement from the North Korean government.
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018
Trump added, “A message from Kim Jong Un: ‘North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles.’ Also will ‘Shut down a nuclear test site in the country’s Northern Side to prove the vow to suspend nuclear tests.’ Progress being made for all!”
A message from Kim Jong Un: “North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles.”
Also will “Shut down a nuclear test site in the country’s Northern Side to prove the vow to suspend nuclear tests.” Progress being made for all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2018
Here’s more from NBC News:
Kim also said the country would halt nuclear tests, and stop test-firing midrange and ICBM missiles. “Accordingly, the northern nuclear test ground has ended its mission,” he said.
Kim said, according to KCNA, that “no nuclear test and intermediate-range and inter-continental ballistic rocket test-fire are necessary for the DPRK now, given that the work for mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic rockets was finished,” referring to the country’s official name of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The development could be seen as a concession from North Korea ahead of the planned meeting between Kim and Trump, which officials said might take place in June. Details are still being discussed.
What President Trump has been able to accomplish so far with North Korea is truly remarkable. Peace through strength works!
— Van Hipp (@VanHipp) April 21, 2018
And, per Fox News:
News of the testing suspension follows the revelation earlier this week that Mike Pompeo, the current CIA director and secretary of state nominee, met with Kim in North Korea over Easter weekend to lay the groundwork for the prospective meeting with Trump. The meeting, Trump said, could occur by early June.
Trump said Pompeo’s meeting “went very smoothly” and said a “good relationship was formed.”
“Denuclearization will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea,” he said.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 21, 2018
While Trump has been optimistic about the historic meeting, the former businessman has mentioned he would not remain at the negotiating table for long if he finds out North Korea has inauthentic intentions.
“I hope to have a very successful meeting,” Trump said during a presser with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Fox News reports. “If we don’t think it’s going to be successful, we won’t have it. If I think it’s a meeting that is not going to be fruitful, we’re not going to go. If the meeting when I’m there is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting.”
South Korea has expressed similar sentiments and remains somewhat skeptical of their northern neighbors.
North Korea’s announcement of a halt in its nuclear and missile tests was met with scepticism by many South Koreans on Saturday, highlighting political risk for the South’s president as he embarks on the latest push for peace on the peninsula.
North Korea will immediately suspend nuclear and missile tests and scrap its nuclear test site, instead pursuing economic growth and peace, the North’s state media said.
But in South Korea, which is still technically in a state of war with its unpredictable, isolated neighbour, many ordinary people expressed scepticism about the sincerity of the announcement, and stressed the need for caution.
South Koreans have lived for decades under the threat of war with their hostile and now nuclear-armed neighbour.
They’ve also seen several earlier pushes for reconciliation that raised hopes of peace only to end in a return to acrimony.