Thursday, 19 July, 2018

N. Korea to hold 'ceremony' for dismantling nuke test site

Pompeo says US ready to provide N Korea with assurances if it denuclearises N. Korea to hold 'ceremony' for dismantling nuke test site
Lisa Bryan | 12 May, 2018, 20:50

Plans are also in place to block entrances and removing all observation facilities, research buildings and security posts.

North Korea will destroy its nuclear test site later this month, ahead of a summit with the United States, it said Saturday, blowing up its tunnels in front of invited foreign media.

"The DPRK will, also in the future, promote close contacts and dialogue with the neighbouring countries and the global society so as to safeguard peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and over the globe", the North Korean foreign ministry statement carried by KCNA said Saturday. However, a final attempt by Bush to complete an agreement to fully dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons program collapsed that December when the North refused to accept US -proposed verification methods.

The display at Punggye-ri, in the northwest of the country, will be another step in leader Kim Jong Un's charm offensive.

He is now set for the first ever face-to-face meeting between a sitting American president and a North Korean leader, scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.

Kim declared his nuclear force as complete in December, following North Korea's most powerful nuclear test to date in September and three flight tests of ICBMs created to reach the USA mainland.

It follows a flurry of global engagement with North Korea as the two Koreas held their own summit in late April and officials plan to hold high-level meetings in coming weeks.


The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reports that journalists from the US, South Korea, China, Russia and the United Kingdom will be invited to observe a ceremony marking the start of the process, which will be held at some point between 23 May and 25 May, depending on weather conditions.

Trump's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday North Korea can look forward to "a future brimming with peace and prosperity" if it agrees to quickly give up its nuclear weapons.

North Korea indicated that "technical measures" are already being taken in preparation.

"In parallel with dismantlement of the nuclear test ground, guards and researchers will be withdrawn and the surrounding area of the test ground be completely closed", the statement said.

The journalists will be provided with a charter flight from Beijing to the North Korean coastal city of Wonsan, from where they will travel by train to the test site, the statement said.

The test tunnels would be blown up, blocking their entries, the statement said.

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