North Korea has begun dismantling nuclear test site, experts say

Geneva Stokes
May 15, 2018

North Korea has started to dismantle the facilities of the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site in the north-east of the country. He said on both shows that the objective was to prevent North Korea from having the capability to strike the United States with a nuclear weapon.

The North invited four reporters each from wire news and broadcasting companies for the event to be held from May 23-25 to dismantle the Punggye-ri site, where the North has carried out all six of its nuclear denotation tests, according to the ministry. Lewis, of the Middlebury Institute, argues that the tunnel's horizontal layout would also make it relatively easy to "pop" open the sealed entrances and regain access after their closing. "We hope that the sound of dynamite blowing up the Punggye-ri tunnels will be a gun salute in a journey toward a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons", Seoul's presidential spokesperson said.

And in the event Trump can secure the "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of North Korea", Pompeo said USA investment could be possible, with "private sector Americans coming in" to the North to improve its energy, infrastructure, and agriculture sectors. The sixth and most recent test took place in September 2017.

While South Korea's presidential office had said that Kim told South Korean President Moon Jae-in during their summit last month that global experts will be invited to witness the closure, the North's Foreign Ministry statement on Saturday did not include any references to allowing experts at the site.

"If North Korea takes bold action to quickly denuclearize, the United States is prepared to work with North Korea to achieve prosperity on the par with our South Korean friends", he said Friday.

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The reclusive state also released three USA citizens imprisoned in North Korea as newly confirmed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Pyongyang for a second time last week to prepare for Donald Trump's upcoming summit. In a tweet on Saturday, President Trump praised the North Korean leader for his "very smart and gracious gesture".

North Korea will join worldwide efforts to ban nuclear tests, its ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Han Tae Song, told the Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday. Guards and researchers will be withdrawn, and the area surrounding the test site will be closed. North Korea is desperately in need of energy support, electricity for their people they are there in great need of agricultural equipment and technology.

After months of tensions over his nuclear and missile tests, Kim has been reaching out to Washington and Seoul since the beginning of the year.

At that meeting, along with establishing a sustainable peace regime and reuniting families, the leaders of the two Koreas said they would foster economic cooperation.

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