North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says he is suspending nuclear and missile tests starting Saturday, and that he will shut down the site where the previous six nuclear tests were conducted.
The surprising announcement comes just six days before Kim is set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a precursor to a historic summit between Kim and President Donald Trump. Trump is set to meet Kim at the end of May or beginning of June, although a location has not yet been set.
Both Moon and Trump have been saying that North Korea is now willing to “denuclearise,” a term which means different things to the different sides.
“North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site,” Trump tweeted shortly after the announcement from Pyongyang…
…Others point out that North Korea has been sending signals through what it has not been saying. It’s not talking about the US strike on Syria, it’s not talking about the US military conducting drills in South Korea, and it’s not talking about the “heinous” and “hostile” United States.
It hasn’t even commented on the return of national security adviser John Bolton, a man the regime once derided as “human scum and a bloodsucker.”
This is a sharp change from its usual tirade of vitriol against the United States, especially at this time of year, when the American and South Korean militaries are practicing war drills on the southern half of the peninsula.
It hasn’t been using one of its favorite phrases, about being a “strong nuclear power,” since March 10 – the day after Trump agreed to meet with Kim. Previously, the phrase has appeared in the Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of the Workers’ Party, on a daily basis.
“That’s not a coincidence,” said Peter Ward, a North Korea researcher at Seoul National University. “I think North Korea is on a serious drive for peace right now.”
But others were more circumspect, noting that Saturday’s announcement fits with North Korea’s previous declarations that it had “completed” its nuclear and missile programmes.
“This echoes what Kim Jong Un has already said about its nuclear programme. Kim Jong Un is satisfied,” said Melissa Hanham, a researcher at the James Martin Centre for Nonproliferation in California.
“A serious drive for peace”? I’d say this has more to do with Kim Jong being brought into line by the NWO as globalisation marches forward: How many “rogue nations” remain? All that remains is a line in the sand between eastern and western superpowers!