N. Korea to close nuke test site, halt nuclear and long-range missile tests

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Ahead of a planned summit next week, North Korea announced Friday that the county has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests and plans to close a nuclear test site.

On Friday, officials said North and South Korea have installed a telephone hotline between their leaders as they prepare for a rare summit next week aimed at resolving the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang.

South Korea’s presidential office said Friday a successful test call was conducted on the hotline between Seoul’s presidential Blue House and Pyongyang’s powerful State Affairs Commission.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un plan to make their first telephone conversation sometime before their face-to-face meeting next Friday at the border truce village of Panmunjom.

South Korean officials say the hotline will help facilitate dialogue and reduce misunderstanding during times of tension.

Meanwhile, a poll released earlier Friday indicated that Americans largely fear the U.S. relationship with Russia and China will get worse in the coming year. And despite signs of diplomatic progress with Kim Jong Un on nuclear weapons, nearly half say the same about North Korea.

That’s according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The poll provides insight into the public’s view on the direction of ties with those key U.S. strategic rivals, 15 months after President Donald Trump took office.

It finds that Americans are most downbeat about the relationship with Russia. Some 56 percent think the relationship will get worse over the next year, while just 13 percent think it will improve.

On China, 48 percent expect relations to get worse. Just 17 percent expect things to get better.

Categories: Associated Press, News, US, World

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