North Korea has begun dismantling nuclear test site

Posted May 15, 2018

North Korea's Foreign Ministry announced Saturday that it will dismantle the test site between May 23 and 25.

Satellite images which were taken on May 7 show that several key operational support buildings have been razed, according to the North Korea monitoring project 38 North.

North Korea has invited eight South Korean journalists to an event to showcase the dismantling of its nuclear test site scheduled for next week, Seoul's unification ministry said Tuesday.

Chun, who had also served as a top nuclear envoy for liberal President Roh Moo-hyun, said the Punggye-ri facility is the "perfect place" to gauge North Korea's current nuclear capability - a process crucial for future denuclearization talks.

The North's state-run Korean Central News Agency issued a rare press release last week announcing plans to use explosions to collapse all of its tunnels, block entrances and remove all observation facilities, research buildings and security posts.

The U.S. government's denuclearization roadmap regarding North Korea is taking concrete shape at a rapid pace. Ors simply speculate that base was unusable after last and most potent nuclear test last September.

Still, verified action to redeem specific North Korean promises is a rare and positive thing, and part of what some have called a "charm offensive" by Kim Jong-un in advance of his June 12 meeting in Singapore with Donald Trump.

"The dismantling of the test site has already begun".

Bolton said the United States side also will discuss not just North Korea's nuclear and missile programs but its chemical and biological weapons arsenal as well.

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Not everyone shared the optimism over Pyongyang's nuclear pledge.

After last pact between North Korea and United States, Pyongyang destroyed in 2007 cooling tower of Yongbyon nuclear power plant, where plutonium has been manufactured for its bombs.

North Korea's official name is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"It is North Korea's diplomatic tactic to push the situation to extreme confrontation and suddenly send peace gestures".

North Korea has a total of four tunnels and while two were shut down following previous nuclear tests, one remained usable and the other was under construction until recently, a South Korean presidential official told reporters on Sunday under condition of anonymity.

Last month, Pompeo became the first known USA official to meet with Kim, where he helped lay the groundwork for the upcoming meeting with Trump.

The shutdown process will unfold under the presences of journalists, including those from the US and South Korea.

"North Korea's diplomacy has always been a repeat of hardline and appeasement", Thae said.