Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

North to publicly dismantle nuclear test site between May 23-25

North to publicly dismantle nuclear test site between May 23-25

Analysts say the country is hoping the move to allow on-site coverage will demonstrate how seriously it's taking denuclearization ahead of the upcoming first-ever US-North Korean summit.

Pyongyang said Saturday that it will detonate explosives in all tunnels of the test ground, completely block entrances, remove all observation facilities, research institutes and structures of guard units at the test-facility.

North Korea announced this Saturday that it is taking "technical measures" to dismantle its nuclear test centre and detailed procedure to be followed to carry out process, which it plans to undertake between 23 and 25 May, as indicated by State agency KCNA.

The isolated Asian nation, which had already pledged to begin dismantling the site this month, will invite journalists from China, Russia, the USA, the United Kingdom and South Korea to cover the event, KCNA said in the statement.

Punggye-ri has hosted all six of the North's nuclear tests, the latest and by far the most powerful in September previous year, which Pyongyang said was an H-bomb. Prior to that, Kim agreed to discuss complete denuclearization and suspend nuclear and ballistic missile tests in order to meet Trump. The announcement comes after US President Donald Trump said he would hold a summit with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12. South Korean officials said in April North Korea also planned to invite experts from USA and South Korea, but KCNA made no mention of this.

"All worldwide journalists will be provided with a charter flight from Beijing to Wonsan", it said.

According to the South Korean presidential office, Kim told Moon that reports that tunnels at the Punggye-ri site had collapsed - making it unusable - were not true.

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Kim also offered to make the dismantling public.

A dismantling "ceremony" will be held and journalist from the U.S., South Korea and elsewhere will be invited, Pyongyang said.

The communist regime invited the world to witness the dismantling of nuclear facilities before.

In June 2008, global broadcasters were allowed to air the demolishing of a cooling tower at the Nyongbyon reactor site, a year after the North reached an agreement with the U.S. and four other nations to disable its nuclear facilities in return for an aid package worth about $400 million.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Friday promised the U.S. would work to rebuild North Korea's sanctions-crippled economy if it agreed to surrender its nuclear arsenal.

Not only was it later revealed North Korea was secretly enriching uranium, but the rogue nation conducted its second nuclear test less than one year later in May 2009.

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