South Korean President Moon Jae-in calls North Korea’s nuke test suspension ‘good signal’

President Moon Jae-in has welcomed North Korea’s decision to suspend its nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests, saying Pyongyang is showing its sincerity for denuclearization ahead of inter-Korean and Washington-Pyongyang summits.

He also called for bipartisan cooperation for the summits.

Moon’s reaction came Monday, two days after the North announced it would suspend its nuclear and missile tests. North Korea also said its nuclear test site in Punggye-ri would be dismantled to transparently guarantee the discontinuance of further tests.

“The North declared suspension of nuclear and missile tests on Saturday,” Moon said in a meeting with secretaries at Cheong WaDae. “To put the decision into practice, it announced it would shut down the Punggye-ri test site. North Korea showed sincerity before the inter-Korean and Washington-Pyongyang summits, and I think highly of it.”

Moon said the whole world welcomed the announcement, saying it was big progress toward peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, citing responses from U.S. President Donald Trump, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and other world leaders.

“North Korea’s nuclear freeze is an important decision for the complete denuclearization of the peninsula. It is a good signal that raises the chances for success of the inter-Korean and U.S.-North Korea summits,” he said.

The President said North Korea can have a bright future if it starts from the nuclear freeze and goes toward complete dismantlement of its nuclear arsenal. “With Pyongyang’s pre-emptive measure, expectation is growing that the goal may be achieved faster than initially predicted.”

He also asked for support from opposition parties for the summit.

The ruling and opposition blocs have been fighting over many issues such as online opinion-rigging and constitutional revision. Also conservative opposition parties, especially the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP), have maintained suspicion toward the North’s peace offensive, saying the Moon administration and the North are staging a “fake peace show.”

Moon, saying the peninsula is about to face denuclearization through peaceful means and the world is paying attention to it in hopes of success, urged the opposition bloc to support the summit.

“I ask for all parties to suspend political strife at least until the summit takes place,” he said. “I earnestly request bipartisan cooperation to realize a Korean Peninsula without nuclear weapons and without concerns about war. If the ruling and opposition blocs cooperate, I’ll attend the summit with corresponding responsibility.”

On Saturday, the day after the plenary meeting of the central committee of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, Pyongyang announced the missile test suspension and shutdown of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, where it conducted all six of its tests since 2006.

It added it would neither use nuclear weapons, nor transfer such weapons or technology under any circumstances, unless the country faces nuclear threats or provocations. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un claimed his country no longer needed to conduct tests because it has completed development of the nuclear weapons.
Source – The Koren Time

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