North Korea to Dismantle Nuclear Site Ahead of Trump's Meeting With Kim

13 May, 2018, 09:45 | Author: Kim Reid
  • North Korean mountain

North Korean Foreign Ministry announced today that the country would be hosting a ceremony to celebrate the dismantling of their nuclear test site between May 23 to 25.

He held a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Lee after the former announced on Twitter that he will meet North Korean Supreme Leader in Singapore on June 12, Yonhap News Agency reported.

North Korea outlined steps Saturday to dismantle its nuclear testing site - and confirmed that worldwide journalists, including from the United States and the United Kingdom, would be invited to watch this month as its tunnels are blown up.

The tunnels of the nuclear test site will be destroyed with a series of explosions, entrances will be demolished and all accompanying structures - observation facilities, laboratories and guard divisions - will be dismantled.

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"In due consideration of small space of the test ground, journalists from other countries will be confined to those from China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom and South Korea", said the statement.

"The Nuclear Weapon Institute and other concerned institutions are taking technical measures for dismantling the northern nuclear test ground of the DPRK [The Democratic People's Republic of Korea] in order to ensure transparency of discontinuance of the nuclear test", KCNA said.

However, observers noted that there has been no mention of foreign experts being allowed access to the site.

On Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that North Korea's future would be "brimming with peace and prosperity" if Kim completely, verifiably, and irreversibly abandoned nuclear weapons.

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North Korea's six known nuclear tests have taken place in Punggye-ri, a location in the north-eastern part of North Korea where a system of tunnels has been dug under Mount Mantap.

Kim declared his nuclear force as complete in December, following North Korea's most powerful nuclear test to date in September and three flight tests of ICBMs created to reach the United States mainland. South Korea had no immediate response to the statement.

The closure of Punggye-ri is regarded as an important step toward denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, but North Korea has yet to clarify whether to give up its existing nuclear weapons, although Washington has urged North Korea to do so.

The move, coupled with North Korea's promise to soften restrictions on foreign journalists, is the latest sign of goodwill from Pyongyang.

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The head of the UN's World Food Programme said Saturday it appeared North Korea was "turning a new page in history", following a four-day visit to the country.

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