MOSCOW, April 23. /TASS/. Moscow hails North Korea’s decision to suspend nuclear tests as a step towards denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
"Naturally, it is has already been said in the foreign ministry’s statement, we take such decisions very positively as they lead to reduction of tension on the peninsula," he said. "Of course, we hail any steps towards denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un announced on April 21 that Pyongyang was halting nuclear and missile tests, closing its nuclear test site Punggye-ri and joining the global nuclear disarmament process in line with its new strategy to build socialist economy.
North Korea announced its withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1993 and completed the withdrawal in January 2003. To date, the Communist state has held six nuclear tests. Last September, Pyongyang announced a successful test of a hydrogen bomb and proclaimed itself a nuclear power.
The Russian foreign ministry said in a press statement on Saturday that Russia hailed Kim’s plans to stop nuclear and missile tests. The ministry said that this decision was a "major step towards further de-escalation of tension on the Korean Peninsula and cementing positive tendencies towards normalization of the situation in Northeastern Asia."
According to the Russian foreign ministry, the situation on the Korean Peninsula is developing in a positive way as suggested by the Russian-Chinese roadmap of Korean settlement, which calls for mutual freeze of military activities in the region and establishment of direct contacts between North Korea, the United States and South Korea that are to be followed by multilateral talks on comprehensive settlement of all problems on the Korean Peninsula, including the nuclear one. The ministry also called on the United States and South Korea to take reciprocal steps and scale down their military activities in the region.