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

(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.

Six nuclear tests

North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test last September deep underground at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, in North Hamgyong Province. The explosion created a magnitude-6.3 tremor, making it the most powerful weapon Pyongyang has ever tested.

At the time, Pyongyang claimed the device was a hydrogen bomb, a 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.​

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

Last year, Pyongyang tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile it said could reach the entire US mainland, raising the threat that Kim could realistically follow through on his threat to target the US.

Historic summits planned

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.

The planned historic encounter follows months of warming relations since North Korean Kim Jong Un held out an olive branch during this year's New Year's speech.

The two countries started talking again for the first time in two years via a special phone line, and those talks led to North Korea's participation in South Korea's Winter Olympics.

Kim extended an invitation to South Korean President Moon Jae-In to go to Pyongyang, and the two agreed to meet next Friday, April 27, at the heavily fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the two countries. Ahead of the talks, a hotline between the two capitals was reconnected Friday afternoon.

The upcoming face-to-face talks mark an extraordinary shift in relations that deteriorated even further in 2017 as Kim launched a barrage of missile tests and boasted of the success of his nuclear program.

Denuclearization

Denuclearization is expected to be the focus of talks, as part of discussions to potentially move toward a peace treaty to formally end the Korean war. The Koreas signed armistice in 1953 that ended combat operations in the conflict but didn't go as far as a peace agreement.

Earlier this week, Trump said he'd give his "blessing" for peace treaty -- and said the upcoming talks were "a great chance to solve a world problem."

Trump is due to meet Kim in late May or June at a location still to be decided. If the meeting goes ahead as planned it will be the first encounter between a sitting US President and North Korean leader.

Trump's nominee for secretary of state, US CIA Director Mike Pompeo, laid the groundwork for the meeting with a secret trip to North Korea three weeks ago. His trip sent a message that both sides are serious about moving toward a solution to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Developing story -- more to come