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North Korea 'taking measures' to dismantle nuclear site

12 May, 2018, 20:49 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • US to help North Korea's economy if it denuclearizes

The statement, reported by the South China Morning Post, comes a couple days after President Donald Trump announced that he will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12.

And the North's foreign ministry said the ceremony for the occasion has been scheduled for between May 23 and 25, depending on weather conditions.

Following the Moon-Kim summit, Moon's office said Kim was willing to disclose the process to worldwide experts, but the North's statement Saturday didn't include any mention about allowing experts on the site.

North Korea for decades has been pushing a concept of "denuclearization" that bears no resemblance to the American definition.

Kim also offered to make the dismantling public.

Kim had revealed plans to shut down the nuclear test site during his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month.

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 has declared the development of the North's nuclear force complete and that it had no further need for the site.

Officials in Seoul said in April that North Korea planned to invite experts and journalists from the United States and South Korea for the shutdown of its test site.

"The North will shut down a nuclear test site in the country's northern side to prove the vow to suspend nuclear test".

Punggye-ri has hosted all six of the North's nuclear tests, the latest and by far the most powerful in September past year, which Pyongyang said was an H-bomb.

Tensions had been mounting for years as Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes saw it subjected to multiple rounds of increasingly strict sanctions by the UN Security Council, the US, EU, South Korea and others, and Trump last year threatened the North with "fire and fury".

The spectacle of the North shuttering and even destroying its nuclear facilities is not new. For instance, Kim's father Kim Jong Il invited foreign journalists to watch the destruction of a cooling tower at the Yongbyon reactor, where the North produced plutonium, in the summer of 2008.

But in September 2008, the North declared that it would resume reprocessing plutonium, complaining that Washington wasn't fulfilling its promise to remove the country from the USA list of state sponsors of terrorism. "North Korea's nuclear test center will be discarded in order to ensure the transparency of the suspension of the nuclear test".

The North went on to conduct its second nuclear test in May 2009.

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