The Washington Times, April 21, 2018 - President Trump hailed “progress” Saturday in his efforts to compel North Korea to abandon its nuclear-weapons program, citing that country’s pledge to suspend missile and nuclear tests.
Mr. Trump tweeted: “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!”
Mr. Kim said he will suspend all missile tests and shut down a nuclear test site, North Korean state media reported.
“From April 21, North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles,” the Korean Central News Agency said, as quoted by South Korea’s Yonhap agency.
The announcement came as Mr. Kim prepares for a historic summit with Mr. Trump in late May or early June.
Mr. Kim said through state media that halting nuclear testing “is an important process for the worldwide disarmament” and promised that North Korea wouldn’t share its nuclear capabilities with other countries “under any circumstances.”
But he said exceptions could be made to address nuclear threats or provocations against Pyongyang.
And Mr. Kim also sent a mixed message by praising his country’s rapid development of such weapons. He called the completion of his nuclear-missile program a “miraculous victory” that was “perfectly accomplished…in a short span of fewer than five years.”
“No nuclear test and intermediate-range and inter-continental ballistic rocket test-fire are necessary…given that the work for mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic rockets was finished,” Mr. Kim was quoted as saying.