North Korea suspends missile testing, closing nuclear test site, reports say

EPA Dictator Kim Jong-un ships out staff on ‘state obligation

After the announcement, President Trump posted on Twitter that the move was "very good news".

"Denuclearization will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea", he said. "Maximum pressure should be maintained", he said.

"With the inter-Korean summit, as well as the ensuing summit between North Korea and the US, expectations are growing that the 65-year-long confrontation and struggle will end and a new era of peace will come", the statement read. It is the first dedicated line to be used by the leaders of the two countries to communicate with each other.

Deva has held 15 meetings over the past 30 months with senior figures from the North Korean regime and more are planned. "It is still possible that Kim reverses course when he sits down with Trump, but perhaps Kim is willing to set aside military interests in order to avoid war".

One U.S. government official said privately that there has been no recent signals that the release of the hostages is imminent but added that it would be highly unlikely for Trump to meet with Kim and not secure the release of the prisoners in the same meeting.

Kim could also offer to return some of the Japanese citizens abducted by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s.

"We still have many obstacles to overcome during the upcoming dialogue".

On Thursday, President Moon announced North Korea had not raised its long-running demand for the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for giving up nuclear weapons - an apparent concession that analysts greeted with skepticism.

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The 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty, leaving the two sides technically at war, and the Demilitarised Zone between them - where Moon and Kim will meet next Friday - bristles with minefields and fortifications.

North Korea has been engaged in a standoff over its nuclear and missile programmes which it conducts in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions. "They have not attached any conditions that the US can not accept, such as the withdrawal of American troops from South Korea".

"Unless there is independent monitoring. any unilateral undertakings by the North Koreans will probably not be worth the paper they're written on", he said.

Trump said Wednesday he expects Paul to come through on Pompeo.

"It was as clear as a phone call with a neighbour living next door", he said of the call between the capitals about 200km apart.

As for opposition by Democrats, Republican Cory Gardner, who chairs an Asia subcommittee, said in an interview that they "want to play partisan politics".

Kim, a third-generation dictator, is the chairman of the State Affairs Commission, North Korea's supreme decision-making institution that was created in 2016 to replace the National Defence Commission he inherited from his father.

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