North Korea 'taking measures' to dismantle nuclear site

North Korea's last nuclear test triggered an earthquake

North Korea's last nuclear test triggered an earthquake

North Korea announced Saturday it will publicly dismantle its northern nuclear test site in a ceremony scheduled for between May 23 and 25, adding it is taking "technical measures" to that end.

"A ceremony for dismantling the nuclear test ground is now scheduled between May 23 and May 25, depending on weather condition", the statement said.

North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs pledged transparency and laid out plans Saturday to dismantle the country's nuclear testing site.

The announcement comes after US President Donald Trump will report this week to meet with Kim Jong-UN in Singapore on 12 June. Kim Jong-un promised to invite journalists and security experts to North Korea to watch the process.

His South Korean colleague Kang Kyung-wha praised the upcoming Kim-Trump summit as a "historic" opportunity, but emphasized that Seoul was not yet ready to ease sanctions on North Korea.

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".

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

It also said North Korea will provide all worldwide journalists with charter flights from Beijing to North Korea's Wonsan, and from there, they will be offered a special charter train to Pyunggye-ri.

North Korea will make a public show of its promise to close its nuclear testing site, north of the country.

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

Pompeo and other U.S. officials have repeatedly said they are seeking North Korea's permanent verifiable denuclearization, while North Korean officials have said that they have already achieved their nuclear objectives.

The summit, which has been within the works since Trump accepted Kim's invitation to fulfill in March, would be the first ever assembly between a sitting USA president and North Korean chief.

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 USA -proposed verification methods.

During the Friday press conference, Pompeo said he had had a "warm" conversation with the North Korean dictator and that he believed the two countries agreed on the objectives of the summit.

Early on May 10, Pompeo returned to the United States from a second trip to Pyongyang together with three American prisoners released from North Korea.

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