North Korea's dramatic announcement that it will ends tests of nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missiles tests has been welcomed by world leaders and fueled hope a historic peace deal ahead of a much-anticipated meeting between its leader, Kim Jong-un, and Donald Trump.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations welcomed the news and praised the way the U.N. Security Council "really came together" in order to achieve that.
Speaking at an informal working meeting of the Security Council ambassadors in southern Sweden on Saturday, Nikki Haley said pressure and sanctions coming from the U.N. enabled the isolation of North Korea "until they had a good behaviour, and now we are seeing they want to come to the table."
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres told reporters in Sweden that he was optimistic about North Korea's decision, saying that "the path is open for the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
In an earlier statement released by his office, Guterres wished the two Koreas ahead of their April 27 summit "every success in their courageous and important task of resuming sincere dialogue leading to sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula." He also praised the establishment of a direct telephone link between the leaders of North and South Korea.
China, North Korea's main ally, praised Pyongyang's decision to suspend its nuclear and missile tests.
The official Xinhua News Agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang as saying Beijing wishes for North Korea to continue to achieve results in the development of its economy and improving the living standards of its people.
He says China will support North Korea through dialogue and consultations with "relevant parties" to resolve their concerns and improve relations.
Kim Dong-gil, the director of the Korean Peninsula Center at Peking University, says now that North Korea has nuclear weapons, he believes they will use them as a bargaining chip to officially end the 1950-53 Korean War, make arrangements to guarantee North Korea's safety and ultimately allow North Korea to open up its economy to the rest of the world.
President Donald Trump tweeted Friday night about reassuring signals from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and said it was a sign "Progress being made for all."
The message was echoed by the UK. The statement from the British government added: "We hope this indicates an effort to negotiate in good faith."
Russia's foreign ministry also welcomed North Korea's surprise move, but called on the US and South Korea to reduce their military activity in the region.