On April 21, North Korea declared its suspension of nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles. The North’s declaration that it would close the Punggye-ri nuclear test site as a practical measure is highly valued as a sincere step taken ahead of the inter-Korean summit and the summit between North Korea and the United States. The entire world is welcoming its forward-looking approach. President Donald Trump said it was very good news and big progress. Neighboring countries such as China, Russia and Japan are also expressing positive assessment and support. In addition, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres viewed the North’s decision as a positive step forward leading to peaceful denuclearization.
North Korea`s announcement of a nuclear freeze constitutes a grave decision for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. It is also a green light that increases the possibility of success of the inter-Korean summit and the summit between North Korea and the United States. If the North takes a path to the complete dismantlement of its nuclear program starting with the nuclear freeze, it would guarantee the country a bright future. The North Korean measure taken ahead of the planned summits raises hopes for the acceleration of the dismantlement process.
Now, the inter-Korean summit is just four days away. We are now standing at a crossroads to denuclearization and permanent peace not by military measures but by peaceful means.
The whole world is paying attention to the summit and hopes for its success. I urge politicians in the country to cease political strife at least until the summit is over. I hope everyone will be able to pull together for the success of the summit.
I wholeheartedly ask for bipartisan cooperation for a Korean Peninsula free of worries about nuclear weapons and war. If the ruling and the opposition parties cooperate, I will attend the summit with a correspondingly strong sense of responsibility.