North Korean leader Kim Jong-un explained that further tests were unnecessary because Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities had been “verified”.North Korea prepares for historic talks with South Korea and the US. Mr Kim is due to meet before his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in next week for the first inter-Korean summit in over a decad. “This is very good news for North Korea and the World – big progress! Look forward to our Summit.” Mr Trump tweeted after the announcement. On Thursday, the US leader said there was a “bright path available to North Korea when it achieves denuclearisation”.
China also welcomed the move, saying it would “help ameliorate the situation on the peninsula”. Mr Kim reportedly pledged to “concentrate all efforts” on developing a socialist economy during Friday’s meeting. Possibly his personal invitation to Mr Trump to hold talks with him- as well as the commitment to freeze further nuclear tests is a real diplomatic masterstroke. “By dangling before the US once again ‘denuclearization of the Korean peninsula’ and ‘moratorium on nuclear and missile tests’, Kim seeks to weaken sanctions, pre-empt US military pre-emption, and condition the world into accepting North Korea as a legitimate nuclear state,” says Prof Lee Sung-yoon from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.