Trump makes big announcement: North Korea has agreed to close a major nuclear weapons testing site

DCNFRyan Pickrell, DCNF

President Donald Trump, referencing a North Korean state media report, tweeted Friday evening North Korea has agreed to suspend all nuclear weapons testing and close its testing site.

“North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site,” Trump tweeted Friday. “This is very good news for North Korea and the World — big progress! Look forward to our Summit.”

“The nuclear test and the intercontinental ballistic missile test will be discontinued,” the Korean Central News Agency reported Friday, delivering a clear message from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “North Korea’s nuclear test center will be discarded in order to ensure the transparency of the suspension  of the nuclear test.”

North Korea is closing the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, where North Korea has tested a total of six nuclear weapons, including a thermonuclear bomb, the country is apparently announcing to the world.

The U.S. and North Korea are already in direct talks in preparation for a meeting between Trump and Kim — an unprecedented summit. CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently made a secret trip to North Korea to meet with Kim himself.

North Korea has reportedly agreed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, pleasing the Trump administration, but there may be a disconnect when it comes to what exactly this means, North Korean state media reports indicate.

“We will never use nuclear weapons unless there is a nuclear threat or nuclear provocation to our country, and in any case, we will not transfer nuclear weapons and nuclear technology,” KCNA reported, suggesting the North intends to remain a nuclear weapons state but act responsibly.

(Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

In the report, Kim expressed the need for “global nuclear disarmament” — a possible reference to past statements indicating North Korea would only completely disarm when the U.S. agrees to do the same.

North Korea’s decision to suspend nuclear testing could signal Pyongyang is satisfied with the state of its nuclear capabilities, which could mean the North is much more capable than previously acknowledged, some Korea watchers are noting.

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