North Korea details plans to dismantle nuclear test site

13 May, 2018, 09:26 | Author: Laverne Higgins
  • Nuclear Bomb Test Moved North Korea Mountain

North Korea says it will invite worldwide media to watch the dismantling of its nuclear test site later this month.

President Trump thanked the Koreans for their "kind and gracious gesture".

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

The North Korean leader announced the decommissioning of the Punggye-ri site during his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in late April. Now he has pledged to destroy them.

The North's announcement was seen as yet another goodwill gesture before leader Kim Jong-un meets with Trump in Singapore on June 12 for what will be the first-ever summit of the two Cold War adversaries.

The summit, which has been in the works since Trump accepted Kim's invitation to meet in March, will be the first ever meeting between a sitting United States president and North Korean leader.

The North Korean foreign ministry said on Saturday that the country was committed to promote close contacts and dialogue with the neighbouring countries and the worldwide society so as to safeguard peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and over the globe.

Prior to the historic U.S.

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"All worldwide journalists will be provided with a charter flight from Beijing to Wonsan", it said. This could satisfy Trump but undermine the alliance between Washington and Seoul.

Six nuclear tests have been carried out at the Punggye-ri site, which is believed to be North Korea's main nuclear facility.

The spokesman said it was an expression of North Korea's willingness, not with a word but with an act, to keep on promise that Pyongyang made during the inter-Korean summit.

There, reporters would board a charter train to the nuclear test ground in an "uninhabited deep mountain area". These refer to experiments involving a subcritical mass of nuclear materials that allow scientists to examine the performance and safety of weapons without triggering a nuclear chain reaction and explosion.

Punggye-ri, in the northeast of the country, has hosted all six of the North's nuclear tests, the latest and by far the most powerful in September past year, which Pyongyang said was an H-bomb.

Analysts said the move was positive but limited in its scope.

North Korea has invited the outside world to witness the dismantling of its nuclear facilities before.

Kim is expected to demand that the US pledge to accept the continuation of North Korea's hereditary regime in return for vowing to achieve denuclearization on the divided peninsula in a "phased" and "synchronized" manner. It has always been the North's economic lifeline, but trade between the two has plummeted following its implementation of United Nations economic sanctions over North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

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