Various reports in American and South Korean state media Friday evening indicated that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un announced the halt of nuclear and missile tests in his country. The reports did not specify whether the tests would conclude permanently.
“The North will shut down a nuclear test site in the country’s northern side to prove the vow to suspend nuclear test,” the announcement concluded.
NK News, a website focusing on updates from the communist country, reported that Kim told a Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) meeting that there was “no need” for such a nuclear program anymore.
At press time, the report does not appear on the aggregator of North Korean media content KCNA Watch (KCNA’s website has long ceased to be available in the United States).
The announcement follows the debut of a historic direct hotline between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who will meet Kim next Friday in the border town of Panmunjom, Kim’s first visit to South Korea. The two nations agreed to a live broadcast of the summit, which reports have indicated would focus on the possibility of ending the Korean War – technically still ongoing, despite being at a stalemate – and the “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” a phrase that some have speculated North Korea will interpret to mean a diminished U.S. presence on the site. Kim reportedly told South Korean officials in a March meeting that denuclearization was father Kim Jong-il’s “dying wish.”