North Korea says it will hold "ceremony" for dismantling nuke test site

Arturo Kim
May 12, 2018

In April, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to remove all nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula and pursue a peace treaty that would replace an armistice that ended the 1950-1953 Korean war.

Pompeo added that if North Korea chooses to swiftly denuclearize, the U.S.is ready to help North Korea breathe life into its ailing economy.

"A ceremony for dismantling the nuclear test ground is now scheduled between May 23 and 25, depending on weather conditions", the official Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) said, citing a foreign ministry press release.

But Libya's program was not almost as advanced as North Korea and the country had not already stockpiled weapons.

A satellite image released and notated by Airbus Defence & Space and 38 North in April past year shows the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea.

A United Nations human rights expert has welcomed the release of three USA nationals by North Korea, saying the move was "another important building block for the prospects of peace" for the two Koreas and beyond.

In due consideration of small space of the test ground, journalists from other countries will be confined to those from China, Russia, United States, United Kingdom and south Korea.

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The goal of the visit to Pyongyang Pompeo called "complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

He stressed the special relationship and track record of support the US has with Korean people, promising the North Korean people "a future brimming with peace and prosperity" if its leadership "chooses the right path". Seoul's Unification Ministry has said it hopes to solve the abductees issue through future inter-Korean talks and global efforts, but has not announced specific plans.

Tensions had been mounting for years as Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes saw it subjected to multiple rounds of increasingly strict sanctions by the UN Security Council, the US, EU, South Korea and others, and Trump last year threatened the North with "fire and fury".

This will uphold its pledge to discontinue nuclear tests, state media said on Saturday.

Recent talk between China and South Korea of offering North Korea economic incentives if a peace deal and a denuclearization plan are reached clearly have progressed farther than initial reports suggested. On Thursday, Trump revealed that the first-ever between a sitting United States president and a North Korean leader will take place in Singapore on June 12.

North Korea, which does not recognise his mandate from the U.N. Human Rights Council, denies accusations of widespread rights abuses against its people.

"North Korea's nuclear scientists live in isolated areas like Yongbyon", said Lee Chun-geun of the Science and Technology Policy Institute.

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