Monday, 28 May, 2018

North Korea's nuclear test site to be dismantled in late May

Nuclear Bomb Test Moved North Korea Mountain This Digital Globe satellite image shows Punggye-ri the North Korea nuclear test site. Credit DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images
Jay Anderson | 13 May, 2018, 00:38

According to Saturday's statement, the Foreign Ministry would invite local press, but worldwide media would be limited to journalists from China, Russia, South Korea, Britain and the United States, due to the testing ground's "small space".

Kim has already invited foreign journalists to watch the dismantling of the nuclear test site, an offer the Foreign Ministry reiterated and explained the process for on Saturday. A ceremony scheduled between May 23-25, weather permitting, said the foreign ministry.

North Korea has set the date to begin shutting down a major nuclear test site as it continues to pursue improved relations with the world.

Given the stage it had already reached, Pyongyang "may feel like they don't need to test anything for a while", he said.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) announced Saturday that it will hold a ceremony for the dismantling of its nuclear test site on May 23-25, taking a step forward towards the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea had no immediate response to the statement.

Analysts say the dismantling of the site is a useful precedent for negotiations.

All observation facilities and research institutes would be removed along with guards and researchers, it said, detailing the process of closing the site.

The test tunnels would be blown up, blocking their entries, the statement said.




Situated in mountainous terrain within the northeast of the nation, Punggye-ri is lower than 100 miles (160 kilometers) from China. But when he met with Mr. Moon last month, Mr. Kim rebuffed the skeptics, saying that the test site still had two tunnels where nuclear tests could be conducted.

The news came as Mike Pompeo, the U.S. secretary of state, said America was prepared to help the regime boom economically if it denuclearises.

The announcement comes after US President Donald Trump will report this week to meet with Kim Jong-UN in Singapore on 12 June.

Pyongyang's pledge may open the way in which for airways to route flights by means of North Korean airspace.

Kim previous year oversaw a string of missile and nuclear tests, drawing the ire of the global community. Two of the North Korean missiles handed over the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

Pompeo spoke to reporters at the State Department following his return from a trip to Pyongyang to negotiate with the North Korean leader and retrieve three Americans held by the regime. However, a final attempt by Bush to complete an agreement to fully dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons program collapsed that December when the North refused to accept US-proposed verification methods. He added that the Trump administration was focused on making sure "we didn't end up where we were before" in the talks with North Korea.

Pompeo Friday promised the USA would work to rebuild North Korea's sanctions-hit economy if it agreed to surrender its nuclear arsenal.

Former US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter warned Friday that the United States should be cautious of any promises made by North Korea at the upcoming Trump-Kim summit.

"We're beginning off on a brand new footing - I actually assume we've got an excellent likelihood of doing one thing very significant".

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