The US, China and Japan have welcomed North Korea's decision to suspended nuclear tests and inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests.
Even better for the world at large is the fact that North Korea's state media ran announcements earlier today that exclaimed, "We no longer need any nuclear tests, mid-range and intercontinental ballistic rocket tests, and that the nuclear test site ... has completed its mission". "I think it's a sign that perhaps things are moving in the right direction".
North Korea conducted all of its six nuclear tests at the Punggye-ri test site in the northeastern province since 2006.
The leader of North Korea decided to make it public that his country wouldn't be involved in any further testing of nuclear capabilities just one week prior to a slated meetup between Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in, the President of South Korea.
Kim made the announcement at the third plenary session of the seventh general assembly of the Workers' Party of Korea, during which the leader revealed Pyongyang's new strategy and said it will focus on developing its economy.
If the summit happens, Trump will be the first sitting U.S. president to meet a DPRK leader.
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Asked whether the North's announcement will accelerate moves toward denuclearization, Kono said it is premature to say anything about the matter. But North Korea for decades has been pushing a concept of "denuclearization" that bears no resemblance to the American definition, vowing to pursue nuclear development unless Washington removes its troops from the peninsula.
This measure is part of the so-called Offensive of Peace led by the North Korean ruler, and in addition to preceding the appointment with US President Donald Trump, occurs a week before his meeting with the president of South Korea, Moon Jae-in.
The EU said it was "positive", but called for complete denuclearisation.
North Korea is known to use this graphite in creation of nuclear reactors and has also reportedly attempted to sell the material to overseas buyers. Its latest and most powerful nuclear test was conducted in September, Yonhap news agency reported.
He said he hopes Pyongyang will take concrete steps toward giving up its nuclear and missile programs. South Korean and US officers have said Kim is probably attempting to save his broken market from heavy sanctions.