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North Korea to dismantle nuclear test site

May 11, 2018

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reports that journalists from the US, South Korea, China, Russia and the UK 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.

All tunnels at the testing ground in the northeast of the country will be destroyed by explosion, with observation and research facilities also to be removed, along with ground-based guard units.

US President Donald Trump tweeted in response: “North Korea has announced that they will dismantle Nuclear Test Site this month, ahead of the big Summit Meeting on 12 June. Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture!”

North Korea to dismantle nuclear test siteNorth Korea to dismantle nuclear test site

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Plans by Kim Jong Un to shut the site down were revealed ahead of his historic summit with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea last month.

“From 21 April, North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs),” KCNA said at the time.

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

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The three Americans formerly held hostage in North Korea gesture next to U.S.President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

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On Thursday, it was confirmed that Mr Kim would finally hold a highly teased meeting with Mr Trump in Singapore on 12 June.

“We will both try to make it a very special moment for world peace,” Mr Trump said on Twitter.

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A satellite image of what is believed to be North Korea's nuclear test sight
Image:A satellite image of what is believed to be North Korea’s nuclear test site

Until recently, Mr Kim and Mr Trump had been trading personal insults and threats, heightening tensions over North Korea’s nuclear programme.

In November, North Korea boasted that it had developed a missile capable of “striking the whole US mainland”.

But their relationship appears to have thawed, and in the early hours of Thursday morning, Mr Trump welcomed home three Americans released by Pyongyang.

The North Korean foreign ministry said on Saturday that the country was committed to “promote close contacts and dialogue with the neighbouring countries and the international society so as to safeguard peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and over the globe”.

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