Kim halts nuclear, missile tests

Says will pursue economic growth and peace for its citizens

North Korea will immediately suspend nuclear and missile tests and scrap its nuclear test site and instead pursue economic growth and peace, the North’s state media said on Saturday.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country no longer needed to conduct nuclear tests or intercontinental ballistic missile tests because it had completed its goal of developing the weapons, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
It was the first time Kim directly addressed his position on North Korea’s nuclear weapons programmes ahead of planned summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in next week and with US President Donald Trump in late May or early June.
“The northern nuclear test ground of the 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.
The pledge to halt the development of nuclear weapons, would mean a significant reversal for the young leader. Announcing the concessions now, rather than during summit meetings, shows Kim is serious about denuclearisation talks, experts say.
The Pyunggye-ri site is North Korea’s only known nuclear test site, where all of its six underground tests where conducted, including the last and largest in September.
Trump welcomed the statement and said he looked forward to a summit with Kim. —Reuters
World welcomes N Korea’s surprise move
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 Trump, US President

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Surjit Singh Flora

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