North Korea to hold 'ceremony' for dismantling nuke test site
13 May, 2018, 01:02 | Author: Mable Gonzales
The dialogue brokered by Seoul has seen US-North Korea relations go from trading personal insults and threats of war a year ago to a summit between Kim and President Donald Trump due in Singapore on June 12.
North Korea's six known nuclear tests have taken place in Punggye-ri, a location in the northeastern part of North Korea where a system of tunnels have been dug under Mount Mantap. He said on April 20 that his nation already had "completed its mission" to test its weapons capability.
Kim has declared the development of the North's nuclear force complete and that it had no further need for the site.
North Korea will publicly dismantle the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site in the next two weeks, according to state media.
"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.
First, explosives will be used to collapse the tunnels, KCNA said.
All observation facilities and research institutes would be removed, along with guards, it said, "and the surrounding area of the test ground be completely closed".
Kim revealed plans to shut down the nuclear test site during his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month.
Kim had previously announced his intention to dismantle the site as negotiations begin over total denuclearization.
The US is willing to boost North Korea's economy and put it on a par with the rich South Korea in return for denuclearization, US top diplomat Mike Pompeo has said.
However there was no mention of allowing foreign experts access to the site in Saturday's statement from North Korea.
Pyongyang's pledge could open the way for airlines to route flights through North Korean airspace.
Kim previous year oversaw a string of missile and nuclear tests, drawing the ire of the worldwide community. He added that the Trump administration was focused on making sure "we didn't end up where we were before" in the talks with North Korea. "We talked about the fact that America has often in history had adversaries who we are now close partners with and our hope that we could achieve the same with respect to North Korea".
Trump and South Korea's President are on account of meet on Could 22 on the White Home.
It also arrives after historic summit of April between two Koreas.
Trump struck an optimistic tone on North Korea as he personally welcomed home the freed American detainees early Thursday. "I really think a lot of progress has been made".
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