Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

North Korea Begins Dismantling Nuclear Test Site

North Korea Begins Dismantling Nuclear Test Site

The site has been used for each of North Korea's six underground nuclear test explosions.

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.

But not all buildings have been demolished yet, the researchers concluded.

According to the report, many key operational support buildings have been razed since their last analysis.

"Moreover, no tunnel entrances appear to have yet been permanently closed", they added.

Pyongyang said last week it would dismantle the site on May 23-25. The presidential office also said that the invitation of journalists from various countries meant that the dismantlement of nuclear site would be transparent.

The South Korean reporters will be allowed in to North Korea on a flight from Beijing, with other foreign media covering the event, on May 22. The Foreign Ministry explained that journalists from Russia, UK, China, the Republic of Korea and the United States will be invited to the ceremony.

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It suggested the incident "may" have been the reason for Kim's announcement of a suspension in testing.

It will mark the first summit between a sitting USA president and a North Korean leader.

Seoul's Unification Ministry said Tuesday that the meeting will discuss ways to carry out peace commitments made during the inter-Korean summit.

South Korea, which brokered the planned talks between Trump and Kim, says Kim has genuine interested in dealing away his nuclear weapons in return for economic benefits.

During the summit, Pyongyang had pledged to work for a complete denuclearisation of the peninsula, having promised to stop its weapons tests earlier.

The two leaders signed a joint statement that committed both to deepening ties and working towards reunification after the meeting on April 27, which saw Kim become the first North Korean leader to set foot in South Korea since the Korean War, which took place from 1950 to 1953 and ended with an armistice agreement.

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