‘Big progress!’: Trump hails North Korean announcement about ending nuclear, missile tests

WATCH: North Korea says it will suspend nuclear and missile testing

President Donald Trump has hailed North Korea‘s announcement that it will be ceasing nuclear and ballistic missile testing, and will soon shutter its nuclear test site.

Trump tweeted that the news represented “big progress,” and said he was looking forward to his upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said earlier Saturday that the country would suspend nuclear testing activity ahead of upcoming negotiations with South Korea and the U.S., adding that the move was part of a shift in focus towards improving its national economy.

WATCH: North Korea’s state-run television KRT said on Saturday that North Korea would suspend nuclear and missile tests effective immediately and abolish a nuclear test site in a bid to pursue economic growth and peace on the Korean peninsula.
North Korea TV says the country will stop nuclear tests, abolish test site
North Korea TV says the country will stop nuclear tests, abolish test site

However, the North didn’t indicate whether it’s willing to get rid of its existing arsenal of weapons.

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READ MORE: North Korea says it will suspend nuclear and missile testing

South Korea’s presidential Blue House also welcomed the announcement, which came a day after the installation of the first-ever telephone hotline between the leaders of North and South Korea.

“The decision represents meaningful progress on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, for which the world has been longing,” read a statement from the Blue House.

“This will contribute to creating a very positive environment for the success of the upcoming 2018 Inter-Korean Summit and the summit between North Korea and the U.S. We will do our utmost to prepare for the summit so that it can lead the way toward denuclearization and toward the permanent establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula.”

READ MORE: North, South Korea connect hotline between leaders ahead of rare summit

The inter-Korean summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will take place Apr. 27 at the border truce village on Panmunjom.

Kim is then expected to meet with Trump in May or June.

— With files from the Associated Press

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