Abe cautious about North Korea

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared the country will be suspending its nuclear program ahead of much-anticipated talks between the two Koreas next week, and the USA and North Korea sometime next month.

The Korean Central News Agency reports that North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles from the 21st of April.

Welcoming the move, the US President said that it is very good news for both North Korea and the world.

North Korea said that to create an "international environment favourable" for its economy, it would "facilitate close contact and active dialogue" with neighbouring countries and the worldwide community.

Pompeo raised the question of the three Americans in his meeting with Kim, a US official said. It has conducted numerous missile tests, and past year it detonated its most powerful nuclear bomb.

Kim Jong-un's announcement that North Korea is to halt nuclear and missile tests immediately comes as he prepares for two major diplomatic events.

Other experts cautioned that North Korea could easily reverse its stance.

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"(North Korea) has made a lot of promises and we paid money on the condition that they will give up experiment sites, but they continued", Aso told reporters in Washington, referring to Pyongyang's nuclear programme.

"But, like with all positive first steps we've had in North Korea negotiations, it can still very easily reverse".

"This is not the time for Japan, the United States and the worldwide community to ease pressure" on North Korea, Onodera said.

Reading KCNA's announcements on Saturday, there is also absolutely no hint of the "denuclearization" intent that South Korean officials have been eager to tout on North Korea's behalf.

Kristensen said North Korea's strategy had been to drive a wedge between South Korea and the USA, in part by threatening the US directly with long-range nuclear missiles.

The news came just days after Trump announced CIA Director Mike Pompeo secretly met with Kim last week and formed a "good relationship".

Trump also said he had promised Abe he would work hard for the return of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea.

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One new dynamic is the activist role that South Korea has played, since it invited the North Koreans to participate at the recent Winter Olympic Games in Seoul.

The North has long demanded the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the peninsula and an end to its nuclear umbrella over South Korea, something unthinkable in Washington.

"I don't think we can completely trust anything North Korea says because North Korea isn't a normal country", said Kim Han-nuri, 23, out in Seoul on a sunny spring morning.

"There are two Syrian chemical facilities that the North Koreans built".

During the meeting, Kim assured Pompeo that a summit with Trump - slated for June - would coincide with the release of three US citizens detained in North Korea, according to sources who spoke to the Wall Street Journal.

"They are showing proof to the world that they have begun their efforts to eventually denuclearize, starting with shutting down the Punggye-ri nuclear test site".

North Korea says it has suspended nuclear, missile testing
In the same address, he said he had a nuclear button on his desk, prompting Trump to tweet that he had a bigger one of his own. North Korea has conducted all of its six nuclear tests at the Punggye-ri test site in the northeastern province since 2006.

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