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World leaders react to Kim Jong Un's suspension of nuclear weapons tests

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World leaders react to Kim Jong Un's suspension of nuclear weapons tests

North Korean missiles on display in Pyongyang
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Reuters
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World leaders continue to react to Kim Jong Un's surprise announcement that North Korea will immediately suspend intercontinental ballistic tests and shut down its nuclear test site.

The news comes ahead of a planned summit with U.S. president Donald Trump.

Trump said on twitter the move was "very good news for North Korea and the world". He added that he was looking forward to the summit which is planned to take place in coming weeks .

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was also optimisitic about the latest development:

"When the Security Council is united and adopts together important mesures they have an impact on the ground and make things change. And today I believe in North Korea the path is open for the peaceful denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and it also proves that diplomacy is the way to solve conflict, is not war, it is diplomacy,"he told the press at an informal working meeting of the Security Council ambassadors in southern Sweden on Saturday.

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said it was "a positive, long sought-after step on the path to the country’s complete denuclearisation", while the Chinese foreign ministry put out a statement saying it believed that the decision by Kim Jong Un would "ameliorate the situation on the Korean peninsula".

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also welcomed the news but struck a more cautious note saying Japan "will be watching Pyongyang closely" to see that the move leads to a complete dismantlement of its nuclear weapons programme.

In another sign of de-escalating tensions Kim Jong Un is scheduled to meet South Korean President Moon Jae In next Friday.