North Korea begins dismantlement of nuclear test site

17 May 2018, 01:24 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Trump thanks North Korea for saying it will dismantle nuclear test site ahead of summit

People watch a TV screen reporting that North Korea will dismantle nuke test site during a news programme at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul. Ahn Young-joon  AP

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced his country would dismantle its northeastern Punggye-ri nuclear-test facilities "to transparently guarantee the discontinuance of the nuclear test".

"The Nuclear Weapon Institute and other concerned institutions are taking technical measures for dismantling the northern nuclear test ground.in order to ensure transparency of discontinuance of the nuclear test", KCNA said.

Trump and Kim are due to hold talks in Singapore on June 12, the first-ever meeting between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader. -South Korean military exercises, always a sore spot, but later the country's first vice foreign minister said in a statement that his government has no interest in a summit with the United States if it's going to be a "one-sided" affair where it's pressured to give up its nukes.

The North Korean announcement said the ceremony would take place between May 23 and 25, weather permitting.

The analysis said no tunnel entrances at the test site appeared to have been permanently closed yet. "Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture!" he tweeted.

Mr. Guterres also expressed hope that progress over shutting down North Korea's nuclear programme would provide an impetus to address other challenges elsewhere in the world.

He also criticized other USA comments that the North should completely abandon not only its nukes and missiles but also its biological and chemical weapons.

Next week, the regime plans to dismantle the facility in front of foreign journalists.

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Wood described the summit as "a historic opportunity to achieve peace on the Korean peninsula".

On Tuesday, North Korea invited eight South Korean journalists to witness that event, according to Yonhap news agency.

The settlement to close the North Korean Nuclear Test Site was reached at the talks between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-no on April 27.

The commercial satellite images from May 7 "provided the first definitive evidence that dismantlement of the test site was already well underway", according to 38 North, a website that tracks North Korean activity.

"The only risk I see is that we will take the destruction of a couple of tunnels as a physical barrier to the resumption of testing in the future".

On Saturday, he told Reuters that closure of Punggye-ri did not mean much in terms of disarmament, given that the United States, for example, stopped nuclear testing in 1992.

After Saturday's announcement, President TrumpDonald John TrumpRomney denounces pastor slated to speak at United States embassy in Jerusalem Pentagon finds problems with Kushner-backed health program: report Apple CEO Tim Cook praises Parkland, "Me Too" activists in commencement speech MORE thanked North Korea for its "gracious gesture". "If North Korea shuns them, it will once again face criticism that the dismantlement was just for show".



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