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North Korea says will stop nuclear tests; Trump hails the move

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SEOUL — North Korea will suspend nuclear and missile tests and scrap its nuclear test site and instead pursue economic growth and peace, the North’s state media said on Saturday, ahead of planned summits with South Korea and the United States.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country no longer needed to conduct nuclear tests or intercontinental ballistic missile tests because it had completed its goal of developing nuclear weapons, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

North Korea said that to create an ‘international environment favorable’ for its economy, it would “facilitate close contact and active dialogue” with neighboring countries and the international community.

It was the first time Kim directly addressed his position on North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs ahead of planned summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in next week and with US President Donald Trump in late May or early June.

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The pledge to halt the development of nuclear weapons, initiated by his grandfather and continued by his father, would mean a significant reversal for the young, third-generation leader, now 34, who has staked his security on his nuclear arsenal and spent years celebrating such weapons as an integral part of his regime’s legitimacy and power.

US President DOnald Trump has welcomed the statement about the meeting and said he looked forward to a summit with Mr Kim.

“North Korea has agreed to suspend all nuclear tests and close up a major test site,” he said on Twitter adding, “Look forward to our summit.”

Trump added that he received a message from Mr Kim stating: “North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles … [and will] shut down a nuclear site in the country’s Northern Side to prove the vow to suspend nuclear tests.”

Likewise, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it welcomed North Korea’s move, which it said would help ease tensions on the Korean peninsula and promote denuclearisation.

“The Chinese side believes that North Korea’s decision will help ameliorate the situation on the peninsula,” it said in a statement.

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176 trafficked Nepalis rescued from Indo-Myanmar border

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KATHMANDU — At least 176 Nepali men and women, who were being trafficked into Myanmar, have been rescued by Manipur police and activists from different parts of Manipur, a northeastern state of India, in the last two days.

On their second day of rescue operation, the Tengnoupal police have rescued atleast 20 Nepalis including 5 women and 15 men, from a Hotel in Moreh town,Imphal Free Press, an English-language daily published from Manipur has reported.

The Moreh police have rescued as many as 60 nationals of Nepal including 45 women and 15 men.

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Earlier, over 105 Nepali women were rescued from Moreh and Imphal, the report stated.

The police team have also arrested the main suspect in the trafficking case identified as Madan Kumar Kharel, 52, Hailing from 07 Prithvinagar, Jhapa, Nepal.

The accused is reportedly responsible for bringing 20 of the 40 Nepali girls who were rescued from Moreh on Friday.

Meanwhile, Police also rescued 51 Nepalis from Imphal including 38 women and 13 men during Saturday rescue operations.

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