North Korea freezes Nuclear program, Missile tests

The announcement came ahead of a new round of negotiations between Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington.

This echoes a previous statement made during a New Year address in which Mr Kim declared his nuclear and ballistic missile programmes completed.

Sanctions that have dried up Kim’s cash coffers also threatened to hurt his dynastic family’s long-standing tactic of statecraft – compelling the elites’ loyalty with a slew of gifts unthinkable for ordinary citizens, such as luxury watches and cars, North Korea watchers said. Analysts agree the rocket is capable of reaching the US but voice skepticism that Pyongyang has mastered the advanced technology needed to allow the rocket to survive re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

North Korea has said its nuclear and missile programs are necessary deterrents against United States hostility.

August 29: An intermediate-range North Korean missile flies over Japan and plunges into the northern Pacific.

Punggye-ri, built in a secluded mountain valley northeast of Pyongyang and the site for all six of the regime’s nuclear blasts, has already been in doubt amid signs of structural weakness, and some observers have said it would be unsafe to do more tests there. The Taepodong-1 is test-fired over Japan in 1998 but the following year, Pyongyang declares a moratorium on such tests as ties with the United States improve.

September 22: Kim accuses Trump of “mentally deranged behavior”.

In the U.S. Senate, Republicans have a single-vote advantage on the 21-member panel that will have the first say on Pompeo’s nomination. “S. dotard with fire”.

Announcing the suspension of missile test launches effectively brings the country’s missile development to a halt.

Seoul says Kim has expressed genuine interest in dealing away his nuclear weapons. Trump soon responds that he has a bigger and more powerful nuclear button, “and my Button works!”

“Wolf, I have to say, I am really nearly speechless here at the pace at which North Korea has done this U-turn”, he said.

On Thursday, the U.S. leader said there was a “bright path available to North Korea when it achieves denuclearisation”.A spokesperson for the South Korean president called the North’s move “meaningful progress”.

Trump welcomed the statement and said he looked forward to a summit with Kim.

Kim Jong Un has halted North Korea’s nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile launches, as diplomatic efforts to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula gather pace.

The DPRK will suspend nuclear tests and inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests immediately from Saturday, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Saturday.

“I can’t believe what the North has just announced”, said IT worker Sayuri Nakata, 27, referring to North Korea’s promise to give up its nuclear weapons tests”.

North Korea To Suspend Nuclear Tests, State News Reports