North Korea pauses nuclear, ICBM tests

North Korea suspends nuclear and missile tests

"This is very good news for North Korea and the World - big progress!"

He also said he's looking forward to his upcoming summit with Kim.

North Korea also told South Korea they are interested in reaching a peninsula-wide denuclearization deal.

It avoids any risk of making him look weak with speculation he was pressurised into make the concession at the summit, which would undermine him at home and overseas.

First, regarding nuclear testing, the statement released on Saturday makes clear that the reason Kim Jong-un is submitting voluntarily to a testing freeze and to the closing of the Punggye-ri nuclear testing site - the scene of all six of North Korea's nuclear tests since 2006 - is because he feels that his country has mastered the design of nuclear weapons.

"The North will shut down a nuclear test site in the country's northern side to guarantee transparency in suspending nuclear tests", the statement from North Korea added.

"The major policy shift was made at the ruling Workers" Party's policy gathering on Friday.

Mr Moon is hoping to raise the issue of denuclearisation with Kim and discuss replacing the existing ceasefire arrangement between North and South Korea - the two countries are still technically at war - with a lasting peace arrangement.

The United States said on Thursday that in the run-up to Trump's planned summit with Kim, countries should continue to put financial and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang to surrender its banned nuclear weapons.

And AFP reports that Japan's defense minister has insisted that Japan is not satisfied, . saying North Korea did not mention the abandonment of its short-range and medium-range ballistic missiles.

An exact date and location for the historic meeting between Trump and Kim has not yet been decided, but the leaders are proceeding with plans to meet around the middle of June in a location outside northeast Asia, the sources told the outlet.

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We must demand deeds, because as the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

Abe, a hard-liner on the North, said he welcomed the announcement carried by state media early Saturday as a positive development.

Kim's moves are likely aimed at easing long-standing concerns on the South Korean and USA side that the North will never give up its nuclear weapons.

Using the acronym for North Korea's official name, it said the North would "never use nuclear weapons nor transfer nuclear weapons or nuclear technology under any circumstances unless there are nuclear threat and nuclear provocation against the DPRK".

A man watches a television news showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at a railway station in Seoul on Saturday.

Now that Trump and Kim seem to be on common grounds, it looks like we won't have to see who's button is really bigger.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe too hailed the announcement, while stressing that it was important to monitor the situation to see if it would lead to "a complete, verifiable and irreversible abandonment of nuclear arms, weapons of mass destruction and missiles", state broadcaster NHK reported. Kim met last month with China's president and is to meet South Korea's leader April 27.

The move comes shortly after a direct phone line between North and South Korea's leaders was installed. North Korea also said it had the ability to develop nuclear missiles.

Mr Kim is due to meet his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in next week.

As for opposition by Democrats, Republican Cory Gardner, who chairs an Asia subcommittee, said in an interview that they "want to play partisan politics".

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