North Korea says it will dismantle Punggye-ri nuclear test site
Pyongyang said it would allow journalists from China, Russia, the United States, United Kingdom and South Korea to witness the closure of the site.
North Korea on Saturday announced that it will dismantle its nuclear bomb test site between May 23 and 25 to comply with its commitment to stop such tests, the country’s state-run media said on Saturday. The announcement comes a month before a meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and United States President Donald Trump on June 12.
“The Nuclear Weapon Institute and other concerned institutions are taking technical measures for dismantling the Punggye-ri nuclear test ground in order to ensure transparency of discontinuance of the nuclear test,” the Korean Central News Agency said.
The agency said guards and other researchers at the site may be withdrawn and the surrounding area completely closed down. It added that he government will allow journalists from China, Russia, the United States, United Kingdom and South Korea to witness the dismantling of the nuclear test site, and conduct live coverage “in a transparent manner”.
On Friday, Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said that Pyongyang can anticipate “a future brimming with peace and prosperity” if it expedites its nuclear disarmament process.
Trump welcomed the North Korean announcement, calling the gesture “very smart”.