European Union welcomes NK's decision to stop nuclear, missile tests


North Korea has promised to end all its atomic and missile tests - but experts warned last night that the dramatic pledge may mean the rogue state has already perfected its nuclear weapons system. He said North Korea has reached the level where it no longer needs underground testing or test-launching of ICBMs, and added that it would close its nuclear testing facility at Punggye-ri, which was already believed to have been rendered unusable due to tunnel collapses after the North's test of its most powerful bomb to date past year.

"Under the proven condition of complete nuclear weapons, we no longer need any nuclear tests, mid-range and intercontinental ballistic rocket tests, and that the nuclear test site in northern area has also completed its mission", Kim said.

China welcomed North Korea's decision.

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

The proposed summit followed months of rising tension between the two countries over North Korea's refusal to stop ballistic tests.

The photo provided by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows a view of the Third Plenary Meeting of the Seventh Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), on April 20, 2018. He also praised the establishment of a direct telephone link between the leaders of North and South Korea.

The formal declaration of an end to testing comes after Kim reiterated the North's nuclear status in his New Year speech and said he had a nuclear button on his desk - prompting Trump to tweet that he had a bigger one of his own.

European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement that the North's announcement has to lead to its complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.

North Korea on Saturday announced freezing of its missile tests along with shutting down of a nuclear test site, a significant development that received a broad global welcome.

But Kim offered no sign he might be willing to give up what he called the North's "treasured sword", saying its possession of nuclear weapons was "the firm guarantee by which our descendants can enjoy the most dignified and happiest life in the world".

"Certainly this is a positive development", said Daniel Pinkston of Troy University.

The new North Korean policy sets the table for further negotiations when the summits begin.

This positive development contributes to building trust and a longer process leading to the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Guterres said in a statement released by the office of the spokesman for the UN's top representative. A separate meeting between Kim and President Donald Trump is anticipated in May or June. "Look forward to our Summit".

The North's official Korean Central News Agency says the country is making the move to shift its national focus and improve its economy.