North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s surprising Friday announcement that his country will suspend nuclear and missile tests stunned at least one CNN reporter enough to give President Trump some serious credit.
“The nuclear test and the intercontinental ballistic missile test will be discontinued,” reported the Korean Central News Agency on Friday. “North Korea’s nuclear test center will be discarded in order to ensure the transparency of the suspension of the nuclear test.”
CNN’s Will Ripley told host Wolf Blitzer via phone that the development was “frankly a huge win for President Trump.”
“Kim Jong Un has announced to his country and his own people that he has completed his nuclear program, and therefore there is no need to continue developing nuclear weapons,” said Ripley. “This is an extraordinarily significant development, and frankly a huge win for President Trump going into these discussions, this potential summit, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.”
“Finally Kim Jong Un has decided to open up,” a North Korean official told Ripley. “This is a new chapter for the DPRK. He has committed himself to the path of denuclearization and will now focus solely on economic growth and the national economy. Finally he has realized the best path forward is to open up the country and normalize relations. He is finally being recognized by the international community, and this is an historic, timely opportunity.”
“Wolf, I have to say, I am really almost speechless here at the pace at which North Korea has done this U-turn,” the CNN reporter said. “And this all started with Donald Trump agreeing to sit down with a summit with Kim Jong Un.”
Ripley described how the North Korean leader “has gone from being cast aside as the ruler of a global pariah” to scheduling meetings with some of the world’s top officials, including the presidents of South Korea and the United States.
“I’ve been speaking with diplomatic sources over the last week who are optimistic believing that President Trump might be the one U.S. president who can figure out how to break through to North Korea,” Ripley concluded. “It is really an extraordinary development.”