SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (NEWS 1130) – North Korea says it has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests and plans to close its nuclear test site.
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
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said the suspension of nuclear and ICBM tests went into effect Saturday.
The country says it’s making the move to shift its national focus and improve its economy.
The announcements came days before North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in in a border truce village for a rare summit aimed at resolving the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang.
The North’s decisions were made in a meeting of the ruling party’s full Central Committee which had convened to discuss a “new stage” of policies.
Here’s a look at recent events:
Jan. 1, 2017: Kim Jong Un says in a New Year’s address that preparations for launching an intercontinental ballistic missile have “reached the final stage.”
Jan. 2: President-elect Donald Trump tweets, “North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won’t happen!”
July 4: North Korea conducts its first flight test of an ICBM, the Hwasong-14, which Kim calls the North’s “package of gifts” for the US’s Independence Day.
July 28: A second Hwasong-14 is launched with an estimated range reaching into the US mainland, including cities such as Chicago.
Aug. 9: Trump says North Korea had best not make more threats or “they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” North Korea hours later announces a plan to launch a salvo of missiles toward the US territory of Guam, a major military hub in the Pacific.
Aug. 29: An intermediate-range North Korean missile flies over Japan and plunges into the northern Pacific.
Sept. 3: North Korea carries out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date, saying it was a hydrogen bomb designed for use on ICBMs.
Sept. 19: Trump tells the UN General Assembly the United States would “totally destroy North Korea” if forced to defend itself or its allies. He refers to Kim as “Rocket Man” and that he’s “on a suicide mission for himself.”
Sept. 22: Kim accuses Trump of “mentally deranged behaviour.” He says he will “surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire.”
Nov. 29: North Korea’s third ICBM test demonstrates a potential range that could reach Washington, DC.
Jan. 1, 2018: Kim says in his New Year’s address that he has a nuclear button on his desk, but also calls for improved relations with South Korea. Trump soon responds that he has a bigger and more powerful nuclear button, “and my Button works!”
Jan. 9: North and South Korean officials meet in the border village of Panmunjom, and agree on North Korea sending athletes and delegates to the Olympics.
March 7: After visiting Kim in Pyongyang, South Korean presidential national security director Chung Eui-yong says Kim is willing to discuss the fate of his nuclear arsenal with the United States and has expressed a readiness to suspend nuclear and missile tests during such talks.
March 9: Trump accepts Kim’s invitation to meet, which the White House says will take place by the end of May.
April 18: Trump confirmed that his CIA chief secretly met with Kim in North Korea and said “a good relationship was formed” heading into the adversaries’ anticipated summit.
April 20: North Korea says it has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests and plans to close its nuclear test site as part of a move to shift its national focus and improve its economy. Trump tweeted,
“This is very good news for North Korea and the World” and “big progress!”