North Korea's suspension of nuclear tests: Trump says 'good news', Seoul calls it meaningful progress

US President Donald Trump makes his way to board Air Force One before departing from Naval Air Station Key West in Key West, Florida, on April 19, 2018.
US President Donald Trump makes his way to board Air Force One before departing from Naval Air Station Key West in Key West, Florida, on April 19, 2018. PHOTOS: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS, AFP) - US President Donald Trump on Friday (April 20) welcomed a statement by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he will suspend nuclear and missile tests immediately and abolish a nuclear test site, and Trump said he looked forward to a summit with Kim.

"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," Trump said in message on Twitter.

It emerged this week that Trump's CIA chief had recently met the reclusive North Korean leader, significantly boosting the odds of the Trump-Kim summit going ahead in late May or early June.

South Korea's presidential office said North Korea's decision is a "meaningful progress" for denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

"It will also contribute to creating a very positive environment for the success of the upcoming South-North summit and North-United States summit," a spokesman for the president's office, Yoon Young-chan, said in a statement on Saturday.

Japan, however, is not satisfied with North Korea’s pledge to halt nuclear tests and intercontinental missile launches, its defence minister said on Saturday, warning that Tokyo will continue to put maximum pressure on Pyongyang.

“We can’t be satisfied,” Mr Itsunori Onodera told reporters in Washington, saying North Korea did not mention “abandonment of short-range and medium-range ballistic missiles”.