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North Korean leader: We no longer need nuclear tests, state-run media reports

By Sophie Jeong and Will Ripley, CNN

(CNN) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the regime no longer needs nuclear tests or intercontinental ballistic missile tests, state-run KCNA reported Saturday.

Kim said Saturday that "under the proven condition of complete nuclear weapons, we no longer need any nuclear tests, mid-range and intercontinental ballistic rocket tests, and that the nuclear test site in northern area has also completed its mission," as quoted by KCNA.

US President Donald Trump welcomed the news.

"North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site," he tweeted. "This is very good news for North Korea and the World - big progress! Look forward to our Summit."

A North Korea source told CNN that Kim has finally decided to open up a new chapter for his nation.

Kim has committed himself to the path of denuclearization and will now focus solely on economic growth and improving the national economy, the source said.

The North Korean leader has realized the best path forward is to normalize relations with other countries, the source added. He is finally being recognized by the international community, and this is a historic, timely opportunity, the source said.

North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test last September. At the time, Pyongyang claimed the device was a hydrogen bomb, a much more powerful type of nuclear weapon that uses fusion instead of fission to increase the blast yield, or destructive power. It is also known as a thermonuclear bomb.

The country has worked for years to miniaturize a nuclear warhead that can be fitted atop a long-range missile and survive the heat-intensive process of re-entering the Earth's atmosphere.

The decision to halt nuclear and missile testing comes just one week before the leaders of South and North Korea are due to meet at the demilitarized zone between the two countries.

Developing story -- more to come

The-CNN-Wire

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