North Korea halts all nuclear, ballistic tests, joins global disarmament
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced that his country stopped all nuclear and missile tests, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported on Saturday.
“Starting from April 21, North Korea stops nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles,” Yonhap quoted a statement carried by North Korea’s official KCNA news agency. “The North will also close the nuclear test site in the north of the country to confirm its obligation to stop nuclear tests.
The decision was made on Friday during a plenary session of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party.
Commenting on the results of the meeting, Kim said his country joins the global nuclear disarmament process in line with its new strategy to build socialist economy, the KCNA news agency said.
“Freezing nuclear tests is an important process of the global nuclear disarmament, and North Korea joins the international effort intended to fully stop nuclear tests,” KCNA quoted Kim as saying.
“We will never use nuclear weapons if there is no nuclear threats or provocations against our country. In any case, we will not transfer nuclear weapons or technology [to other states],” the KCNA statement reads. “We will focus our efforts on creating a strong socialist economy and on mobilizing people and material resources for a sharp increase in the people’s living standards.”
“In order to build a socialist economy, we will create favorable international conditions and activate a close dialogue with the neighboring states and the international community with an aim to protect peace on the Korean Peninsula and on the entire planet,” KCNA said.
US President Donald Trump said the announcement was “good news.”
“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,” the US leader said in a Twitter post.
North Korea announced its withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1993 and completed the withdrawal in January 2003. To date, the Communist state has held six nuclear tests. Last September, Pyongyang announced a successful test of a hydrogen bomb and proclaimed itself a nuclear power.