The North Korean state media has announced that dictator Kim Jong-un has suspended North Korea's nuclear and long-range missile tests.
Although the statement did not assure total and complete denuclearization that Washington has demanded, the United States leader gloated + about even the partial concession, tweeting "North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site".
The Pyunggye-ri site in northern North Korea is its only known nuclear test site, where all of its six underground tests were conducted, including the last, its largest-ever detonation, in September.
On September 15, less than a week after the United Nations adopts an eighth series of sanctions, North Korea fires an intermediate-range missile over Japan.More news: FAA to order 737 engine inspections soon
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Saturday he welcomed North Korea's statement that it was suspending all nuclear and missile tests as "forward motion" but that this must lead to verifiable denuclearisation.
Kelly, who blogs about regional security, said the news could be related to a nuclear safety issue - there was a deadly collapse at the main test site in recent months - or to a concession made by the South that isn't yet known.
The fact that Kim has made no such omnibus commitment means Trump is still not fully dedicated to the summit, but the North Korean leader is setting the stage that will make it hard for the U.S. to bail out.
The suspensions went into immediate effect on Saturday, according to state-run KCNA news agency.
Between February and May, the North tests a series of ballistic missiles that fall into the Sea of Japan.
Impoverished North Korea and the rich, democratic South are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty and the North has been engaged in a standoff over its nuclear and missile programs that it conducts in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions.More news: Scientists Discovered Astonishing Southeast Asian Exploding Ants
Even though Kim Jong-un, during his 2017 New Year's address, declared his nuclear forces "complete", there is good reason to believe that he would want to increase his ICBM launchers and even work on components of North Korea's nuclear command and control systems.
It sent a delegation to the Winter Olympics held in South Korea.
South Korean and US officials have said Kim is likely trying to save his broken economy from heavy sanctions, and Seoul says Kim has expressed genuine interest in dealing away his nuclear weapons.
Kim told the meeting that the North's development of nuclear weapons should be seen as a "great victory".
"North Korea's decision is meaningful progress for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which the world wishes for", the South Korean President's office said in a statement.
A separate meeting between Mr Kim and Mr Trump is anticipated in May or June.More news: Russian Federation calls on West to stop meddling with OPCW work in Syria