North Korea announced on Friday that it will suspend nuclear weapons testing and intercontinental ballistic missile testing, as well as close its major nuclear testing site.
“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. “The North will shut down a nuclear test site in the country’s northern side to prove the vow to suspend nuclear test.”
President Donald Trump tweeted, “This is very good news for North Korea and the World — big progress!”
He added, “Look forward to our Summit.”
North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site. This is very good news for North Korea and the World – big progress! Look forward to our Summit.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018
Trump stated earlier this week that he anticipates the meeting between himself and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will take place in late May or early June.
The president revealed earlier this week that CIA Director and Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo met face-to-face with Kim over Easter weekend.
At a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, Trump noted that Pompeo “had a great meeting with Kim Jong Un and got along with him really well, really great.”
That dialogue gave Trump confidence that a meeting between himself and the dictator could be productive, however, he remains fully aware it could not.
“I hope to have a very successful meeting,” he said.
“If I think it’s a meeting that is not going to be fruitful, we’re not going to go,” Trump added. “If the meeting, when I’m there, is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting.”
The president stated that he will remain “flexible” throughout the whole process, but emphasized again his willingness to pull up stakes, if the summit appears to not be leading to any meaningful change in North Korea’s nuclear weapons posture.
“We’ve gotten us here, and I think we’re going to be successful,” the president said. “But for any reason, if I feel we’re not, we end.”
At a working lunch with Abe on Wednesday, Trump was asked if he was concerned about the Senate confirming Pompeo’s move from CIA director to the secretary of state.
“No, I think he’s going to come through,” the president said. “I think Mike Pompeo is extraordinary. He was number one at West Point. He was top at Harvard. He’s a great gentleman. I think he’ll go down as truly a great secretary of state.”
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters Wednesday, “The trust that President Trump has in Director Pompeo, including having him represent the president and country in those initial talks with North Korea — that tells you how the president is already viewing Director Pompeo as the nation’s chief diplomat.”
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