World welcomes N Korea nuclear test halt
Published: 07:54 PM, 21 April 2018
North Korea`s announcement that it is halting nuclear and missile tests have received a broad international welcome.
Leader Kim Jong-un said further tests were not needed, as the North had demonstrated it had nuclear weapons.
Donald Trump described the move as "good news" for the world, and South Korea said it was meaningful progress.
The EU said it was "positive", but called for complete denuclearisation. North Korea is preparing for historic summits with South Korea and the US.
Early on Saturday Kim Jong-un said: "From 21 April, North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles."
The surprise announcement, relayed by the country`s KCNA news agency, also said a test site would be shut down.
Welcoming it on Twitter, Mr Trump said he was looking forward to a face-to-face meeting with Mr Kim in June.
Mr Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are due to meet next week for the first inter-Korean summit in over a decade.
Mr Moon`s office said the North`s decision would "contribute to creating a very positive environment for the success of the upcoming South-North summit and North-United States summit."
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said it was a "long sought-after step" that should lead to "verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation".
The call was echoed by the UK. The statement from the British government added: "We hope this indicates an effort to negotiate in good faith."
The US and its allies have been pushing Pyongyang to abandon nuclear weapons.
China, North Korea`s main backer, said it believed the move would "help ameliorate the situation on the peninsula".
Russia`s foreign ministry also welcomed it but called on the US and South Korea to reduce their military activity in the region.
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