N Korea promises to halt nuclear, missile tests

N Korea promises to halt nuclear, missile tests

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he would halt nuclear tests and intercontinental missile launches, in a Saturday announcement welcomed by US President Donald Trump ahead of a much-anticipated summit between the two men.

Pyongyang’s declaration, long sought by the US, will be seen as a crucial step in the fast diplomatic dance on and around the Korean peninsula.

It comes less than a week before the North Korean leader meets South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a summit in the Demilitarised Zone that divides the peninsula, ahead of the eagerly-awaited encounter with Trump himself.

But Kim gave no indication Pyongyang might be willing to give up its nuclear weapons or the missiles with which it can reach the mainland US.

 The party decided that nuclear blasts and ICBM launches will cease as of Saturday -- the North has not carried any out since November -- and the atomic test site at Punggye-ri will be dismantled to “transparently guarantee” the end of testing. Within minutes of the report being issued, Trump tweeted: “This is very good news for North Korea and the World -- big progress! Look forward to our Summit.”

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