Wednesday January 16, 2019
Home Lead Story North Korea H...

North Korea Halts Nuclear And Missile Tests

Pyongyang also says it plans to close nuclear test site as summit between North and South to be held on Friday.

0
//
Kim Jong Un
FILE IMAGE- Kim Jong Un (IANS)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has announced the immediate suspension of nuclear and missile tests, media reports said on Saturday.

“From April 21, North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles,” Efe quoted Kim as saying.

North Korea will also “shut down a nuclear test site in the country’s northern side to guarantee transparency in suspending nuclear tests,” the report added.

Having established a nuclear deterrent, North Korea can now turn to overhauling its economy, Kim said.

North Korean leader.
FILE – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a Hwasong-12 missile in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). VOA

Pyongyang’s move comes ahead of Kim’s April 27 summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the demilitarized zone that separates the two countries.

The last in-person talks between the leaders of North and South Korea took place 11 years ago.

What will be the first-ever encounter between the leaders of North Korea and the US is expected to happen in late May or early June.

Also Read: Meaning of Denuclearization For North Korea

US President Donald Trump, who accepted Kim’s proposal for a meeting after months that saw the two men trade insults and threats, hailed the announcement from Pyongyang.

“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 wrote on Twitter.  IANS

Next Story

S.Korea Removes N.Korea As Its ‘Enemy’ In Its Military Policy Document

The Defense Ministry says North Korea maintains an active duty force of 1.28 million troops, compared with the South’s 599,000 active duty troops.

0
Korea, Enemy
South and North Korean officials unveil the sign of Seoul to Pyeongyang during a groundbreaking ceremony for the reconnection of railways and roads at the Panmun Station in Kaesong, North Korea, Dec. 26, 2018. VOA

South Korea has dropped a reference to North Korea as its “enemy” in the military’s updated policy document, reflecting President Moon Jae-in’s initiative in achieving détente with Pyongyang.

The Defense Ministry has labeled the North as enemy in its biennial policy document since 2010, when 50 South Koreans were killed in separate attacks on an island and a naval vessel blamed on Pyongyang.

The absence of the “enemy” label in the 2018 document, published Tuesday, is likely to anger conservatives in South Korea, who say that President Moon’s efforts to build better relations with the regime of Kim Jong Un is undermining the South’s defense posture.

Korea, Enemy
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in inside the Peace House at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, April 27, 2018. VOA

Kim’s New Year’s Day speech in 2017 offering to send a contingent of North Korean athletes to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea set off a series of diplomatic breakthroughs, including three summits with President Moon.

The newly established diplomatic ties have also led to a set of confidence-building measures, including dismantling dozens of all armed guard posts and landmines in the so-called Joint Security Area located within the 250-kilometer demilitarized zone (DMZ), where troops from both Koreas are face to face.

The South Korean Defense Ministry paper warns that North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction, a reference to its nuclear and missile program, continues to pose a “threat to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.”

Also Read: Permission to Cover N-Site Closure is Denied by South Korea

The Defense Ministry says North Korea maintains an active duty force of 1.28 million troops, compared with the South’s 599,000 active duty troops. The regime either possesses or is developing 14 different types of ballistic missiles, including five intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with a range of more than 5,500 kilometers. The North also owns “a considerable amount” of highly enriched uranium, along with 50 kilograms of weaponized plutonium. (VOA)