The United Kingdom welcomes North Korea’s decision to suspend nuclear tests

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at a news conference at Marlborough House in London on April 20, 2018. (Photo by AFP)
The United Kingdom has welcomed North Korea’s decision to suspend nuclear and missile tests and abolish an atomic test site, calling it a positive step.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared on Friday that his country no longer needed to conduct nuclear tests or intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests because it has completed its goal of developing nuclear weapons, the country's official Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
Kim was cited as saying that the suspension will start Saturday and that he will also shut down the site where the country conducted its previous six nuclear tests.
 "A long term commitment from Kim Jung-un to halt all nuclear tests and ICBM launches would be a positive step,” the British government said in a statement on Saturday.
“We hope this indicates an effort to negotiate in good faith,” it added.
London has also vowed to “remain committed to working with our international partners to bring about our goal of a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and to do so through peaceful means."
US President Donald Trump has also welcomed Kim’s decision as a “good news for the world,” and said that he was “looking forward” to meeting with Kim in a summit that is increasingly likely to happen in the next few months.
“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,” he said in a Twitter post on Friday.
People watch a television news showing a file footage of North Korean missile launch, at a railway station in South Korea's capital Seoul on April 21, 2018. (Photo by AFP)
Pyongyang, which has so far resisted the pressure campaign led by Washington to try to force it to halt its weapons program, eventually announced the completion of its nuclear weapons program at the start of this year.
North Korea starts working in the late 1970s on a version of a missile with a range of around 300 kilometers, carrying out a first test in 1984.
The government is now in possession of ballistic missiles, which analysts say has a range of 6,700 kilometers and brings Alaska within reach.
Kim, who succeeds his father Kim Jong Il in 2011, has vowed to make his country the "world's strongest nuclear power.”
On September last year, North Korea conducts its sixth and largest nuclear test, which was some three times more powerful than the US device that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.
Kim declared on Friday that the possession of nuclear weapons was "the firm guarantee by which our descendants can enjoy the most dignified and happiest life in the world.”