Kim Jong Un Announces the Suspension of Nuclear Tests

Photo from Ukrinform–UATV


Kim Jong Un announced that North Korea would stop all nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests.

He also stressed that the northern nuclear test site would be dismantled.

“From 21 April, North Korea will stop all nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles. The northern nuclear test ground of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will be dismantled to transparently guarantee the discontinuance of the nuclear tests,” the country’s state news agency said.

This decision was announced during the plenary session of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

“The whole process of nuclear development was carried out from a scientific and consistent point of view, and the development of shock mechanisms has progressed from a scientific point of view. Now that we have confirmed the completion of the nuclear weapons program, the northern nuclear test complex has also completed its mission,” Kim added.

Kim said that his country no longer needed to conduct nuclear tests or ICBM tests because it had completed its goal of developing the weapons.

The country’s state news agency said that North Korea intended to pursue economic growth and peace. It was the first time the North Korean leader directly addressed his position on the country’s nuclear weapons programs, ahead of planned summits with South Korea and the United States. Kim is due to meet his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in next week for the first inter-Korean summit in over a decade, and U.S. President Donald Trump in either May or June.

The pledge to halt the development of nuclear weapons, initiated by his grandfather, would mean a significant reversal for the young leader, now 34, who has staked his security on his nuclear arsenal and spent years celebrating such weapons as an integral part of his regime’s legitimacy and power.

Trump welcomed the development and said that he looked forward to the summit with Kim. “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,” Trump said on Twitter.

South Korea said that the North’s decision signified “meaningful” progress toward decentralization of the peninsula and would create favorable conditions for successful meetings with it and the U.S. China, one of North Korea’s biggest alllies, also celebrated the announcement saying that the new development would ease tension and promote decentralization.

Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, also welcomed the North Korean statement but said that it must lead to action. “What’s important is that this leads to complete, verifiable decentralization. I want to emphasize this,” Abe told reporters. Australia and Britain were also cautious.

Earlier, South Korean musicians came to North Korea for the first time in around ten years.