North Korea invites the world to watch its destruction of nuclear site

13 May, 2018, 09:39 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • North Korean mountain

The display at Punggye-ri, in the northwest of the country will be open to foreign media.

Kim revealed plans to shut down the nuclear test site during his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month.

Correspondents from the United States, Britain, Russia, China and South Korea will be flown in a special charter flight from Beijing to the newly expanded resort town of Wonsan, then take a special train to the remote test site in an "uninhabited deep mountain area" near the northern border.

Still, the closure of the underground testing site could be a useful precedent for Washington and Seoul as they proceed with the nuclear negotiations with Pyongyang, analysts say. It adds that global journalists will be welcomed into the country "to conduct on-the-spot coverage in order to show in a transparent manner the dismantlement of the northern nuclear test ground".

Trump's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday North Korea can look forward to "a future brimming with peace and prosperity" if it agrees to quickly give up its nuclear weapons.

South Korea's visiting foreign minister, Kang Kyung Wha, praised the upcoming meeting between the two leaders in Singapore as an "historic" opportunity, but added a few notes of scepticism.

Kim declared his nuclear force as complete in December, following North Korea's most powerful nuclear test to date in September and three flight tests of ICBMs created to reach the US mainland.

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And as the eyes of the world turn toward North Korea, it will be under pressure to deliver on its show of goodwill by committing to further steps to denuclearize the peninsula. Washington is seeking the "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation" of the North and stresses that verification will be key.

Letting experts and journalists from South Korea and the United States travel to Punggye-ri is meant to "transparently" reveal the shutdown to the worldwide community, the presidential office quoted North Korean leader as saying.

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

Amid concerns that North Korea will demand America withdraw its troops from neighbouring South Korea, Kang emphasised that the US military presence there must be "a matter for the US-South Korea "alliance first and foremost".

Kim is also scheduled to meet US President Donald Trump next month.

"We are starting off on a new footing - I really think we have a very good chance of doing something very meaningful. Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture!", Trump wrote on Twitter. "I really think a lot of progress has been made".

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