North Korea on Thursday said it had dismantled its nuclear bomb test site, AP reported. Pyongyang conducted several explosions in the presence of journalists in Punggye-ri, a site which it claims was a nuclear test ground. International inspectors, however, were not invited to the ceremony, AP reported.
On May 13, North Korea had announced that it would destroy the nuclear test ground ahead of a meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and United States President Donald Trump that was scheduled for June 12 in Singapore. Pyongyang also said that it would 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 May 22, however, United States President Donald Trump had said there was a “substantial chance” that the historic summit with the North Korean leader in Singapore may be delayed. Earlier, North Korea had threatened to cancel the summit after the United States conducted a joint military exercise with South Korea. A day later, South Korea said it intended to mediate the talks. The summit in Singapore was aimed at the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
Tensions between the US and North Korea escalated in 2017 after Pyongyang stepped up efforts to boost its nuclear weapons programme.