When North Korea tested a rocket in November thought by Western officials to have been an intercontinental ballistic missile, an expert told NBC News, “A viable ICBM capable of reaching the West Coast of the U.S. mainland is still a year away, though North Korea continues to progress.”
Amid ramped-up tensions, Hawaii in January tested its emergency alert system, which resulted in a false alert about a ballistic missile heading toward the islands.
South Korea’s government praised the North’s announcement. “North Korea’s decision is significant progress towards denuclearization on the Korean peninsula, which is the world’s desire,” said Yoon Young-chan, a presidential spokesman.
China, North Korea’s main ally, also welcomed the decision.
The official Xinhua News Agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang as saying Beijing wishes for North Korea to continue to achieve results in the development of its economy and improving the living standards of its people.
He says China will support North Korea through dialogue and consultations with “relevant parties” to resolve their concerns and improve relations.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that “North Korea’s announcement is forward motion that I’d like to welcome,” according to Reuters, but he said the results matter.
“But what’s important is that this motion leads to complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of [North Korea’s] nuclear and missile programs,” Abe said. “I want to take a close look at it.”
Wendy Sherman, former U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs and an MSNBC global affairs contributor, said on the network Friday night that “I think Kim Jong Un is playing his hand extremely well.”
“He’s starting out this negotiation by saying, ‘I’ve made a concession, I’ve done an incredible thing. I have stopped testing of my weapons — because I don’t need to anymore, by the way,'” she said.
Sherman also noted that the test site believed to have been used in the latest nuclear test is thought to have begun to collapse “and probably might not have been functional in the future anyway.” But she also said “I think it is a good thing that dialogue is taking place.”
Article Source : https://www.nbcnews.com/news/north-korea/north-korea-says-it-has-suspended-nuclear-missile-testing-n867961?cid=public-rss_20180421