Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

South Korean leader praises North's plan to dismantle nuke site

South Korean leader praises North's plan to dismantle nuke site

American research group at the University of Johns Hopkins University said that North Korea has begun to dismantle nuclear test site, Pungere, reports the Chronicle.info with reference to the channel 112.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in welcomed the announcement Monday, calling it an "initial step in the complete denuclearisation of North Korea".

The analysis was made public before North Korea holds a ceremony for dismantling the Punggye-ri site between May 23 and May 25, depending on weather conditions, in the presence of worldwide media.

Going off those satellite images, North Korea monitoring site 38 North reported on Monday that "several key operational support buildings" have been torn down since April 24.

Commercial satellite imagery shows North Korea has begun dismantling its nuclear test site, according to an analysis from a prominent global monitor.

North Korea has scheduled the dismantling of the nuclear site between May 23 and 25.

Moon's office previously said Kim told Moon during their April 27 summit that he would allow not only outside journalists but also experts to watch the dismantling of the Punggy-ri test site.

Pompeo told "Face the Nation" that his most recent trip to North Korea was created to lay the groundwork for President Trump's upcoming summit with Kim.

Dialogue brokered by South Korea has seen US-North Korea relations go from trading personal insults and threats of war past year to a summit between Kim and Trump which will be held in Singapore on June 12.

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He added that the prisoners' release showed relations between the United States and North Korea were on a "new footing". Mr Pompeo said that he had had good conversations with Mr Kim, who he found to be a focused and rational interlocutor.

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The site's closure would set up next month's historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump, which is shaping up to be a crucial moment in the global diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with the North.

North Korea's pledge no longer to carry out unannounced missile tests or other activities that put flights at risk may be seen as the latest sign that the isolated nation is prepared to engage with the world.

The North also said for the first time at the meeting that it had been conducting "subcritical" nuclear tests.

Not everyone shared the optimism over Pyongyang's nuclear pledge.

While South Korea's government appeared to downplay the absence of nuclear experts and global watchdogs, the U.S. and Japan stressed the need to invite them for a more verifiable process.

After last pact between North Korea and United States, Pyongyang destroyed in 2007 cooling tower of Yongbyon nuclear power plant, where plutonium has been manufactured for its bombs.

According to the KCNA announcement, the North will invite local press, but global media will be limited to journalists from China, Russia, South Korea, Britain and the United States, due to the testing ground's "small space". He added that the Trump administration was focused on making sure "we didn't end up where we were before" in the talks with North Korea.

Trump is likely to discuss that upcoming summit when he meets with congressional Republicans Tuesday.

The shutdown process will unfold under the presences of journalists, including those from the US and South Korea.

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