North Korea announces freeze on nuclear, missile tests
21 April, 2018, 04:29 | Author: Courtney Perry
The telephone line is installed to enable direct dialogue between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, as per media reports.
Whatever comes out of the summit, it will not resolve all the problems - nuclear weapons, missile programs, proliferation, etc. - because there is too little time to prepare and the two sides want different outcomes: Trump wants North Korea to get rid of its nuclear and missile programs, and Kim wants the U.S.to leave the Korean peninsula and drop all pressure.
The South Korean leader, due to meet Kim next week for a historic summit in the Demilitarized Zone, the border separating the two countries, said the North was concerned about its security.
"From April 21, North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles", the Korean Central News Agency said, according to Yonhap News.
"A test call between working-level officials will be made (Friday)", South Korean presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said Thursday. "I do not think there is any difference in the concept", he said.
"North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site", Trump tweeted following the announcement.
Mr Kim is also expected to hold a summit with US President Donald Trump by June.
Pompeo raised the question of the three Americans in his meeting with Kim, a USA official said.
North Korea in January reopened a border hotline between the countries after almost two years of radio silence as the Koreas resumed dialogue following a period of animosity surrounding the North's nuclear weapons and missile tests.
This will be the third inter-Korean summit between both countries, after summits previously held in 2000 and 2007.
News of Pompeo's trip to North Korea, which took place more than two weeks ago, emerged on Tuesday, as lawmakers weighed whether he should be confirmed to become secretary of state. Trump said that was under negotiation and there was a "good chance" of winning their release, but he wouldn't say whether that was a precondition for sitting down with Kim.
Currently, there are 28,500 USA troops in South Korea, a move that followed 1950-53 Korean War that ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty.
The detente started with inter-Korean talks to discuss the DPRK's dispatch of athletes, artists and political delegations to the South Korea-hosted Winter Olympics in February. If this whole exercise will attain its objective of peace in Korea, the Don will have an ace in his sleeve come next United States presidential election.
Pompeo's visit and the Tweet provide the strongest sign yet about Trump's willingness to become the first serving USA president ever to meet a North Korean leader, amid a protracted standoff over the North's nuclear and missile programs it pursues in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions. The North Korean leadership does not consider nuclear weapons as simply a deterrent, they are also identity weapons that reinforce the authority of Kim Jong Un, legitimise the sacrifices of the population, strengthen internal cohesion and boost national morale.
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