North Korea schedules dismantlement of nuclear test site

13 May, 2018, 02:41 | Author: Myra Gill
  • A North Korean news reader announces North Korea's last nuke test

The announcement comes weeks before a historic summit in Singapore on June 12 where US President Donald Trump will meet North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un.

All tunnels at the testing ground in the northeast of the country will be destroyed by explosion, with observation and research facilities also to be removed, along with ground-based guard units.

"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.

Today's announcement comes after Trump said he would hold a summit with Kim in Singapore on June 12 - the first-ever meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

This week the North released three Korean-Americans it had detained into the care of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was making his second trip to Pyongyang in two months.

This will uphold its pledge to discontinue nuclear tests, state media said on Saturday. The site has already been in doubt amid signs of structural weakness, and some observers have said it would be unsafe to do more tests there.

It should be noted, however, that it is not yet clear if North Korea will also allow disarmament experts to come monitor the work.

North Korea has conducted all six of its nuclear tests at Punggye-ri.


Pyongyang pledged to achieve complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula at a summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the truce village Panmunjom on April 27.

He did not mention other adversaries by name, but Pompeo and others have often noted that the USA played a major role in rebuilding Japan and the European axis powers in the wake of the Second World War.

Experts have said the pledge to dismantle the test site is a big step forward but verifying it will be hard.

North Korea first announced last month that it planned to decommission the nuclear site ahead of the meeting with Trump.

They will be taken to the guarded state via a charter flight from Beijing to the coastal city of Wonsan in North Korea.

North Korea will dismantle its nuclear program in front of the world's media this month.

The United States aspires to have North Korea as a "close partner" and not an enemy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday, noting that the US has often in history become good friends with former adversaries.

The rogue nation will start to take the facility apart on May 23, with worldwide media watching.

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