North Korea started to dismantle nuclear facilities

15 May, 2018, 22:49 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • North Korea Nuclear Test Site

North Korea said it will dismantle its Punggye-ri test site between May 23 and 25 in the presence of local and global media.

But an analysis by 38 North, a North Korea-focused United States website, said commercial imagery taken last week shows that several operational support buildings have been razed and rails for mining carts have apparently been removed.

Satellite images examined by American researchers appear to show building demolitions, removal of railways, and overturned mining carts at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea.

South Korean president Moon Jae-in has welcomed North Korea's plans to dismantle its nuclear test facility and interpreted the decision as holding three layers of meaning, he told his aides at a meeting on Monday. Destruction of the test site in a verifiable manner is an indication of the firm resolve not to carry out further testing of its nuclear devices which has been a bone of contention between the North and some regional and global powers.

According to Chinese academic reports, North Korea's most recent nuclear test in September of what Pyongyang said was a hydrogen bomb, was so large it triggered a collapse inside the mountain, rendering the entire site unusable for future tests.

The dismantling would come before North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump meet for June 12 talks in Singapore expected to focus on Kim's nuclear program.

South Korea's presidential office said last month that Kim planned to shut down his nuclear test site in May, following landmark talks between Kim and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in.


Bolton said the U.S. side also will discuss not just North Korea's nuclear and missile programs but its chemical and biological weapons arsenal as well. The southern and western portals could still support detonations, even if the northern side was badly damaged over the five nuclear tests conducted there, 38 North said April 30.

Pyongyang's pledge could open the way for airlines to route flights through North Korean airspace. But that's most likely because North Korean officials plan to blow up those test tunnels while worldwide journalists are in attendance later this month.

When asked if human rights would be on the agenda at the summit, for example, Pompeo said: "America's interest here is preventing the risk that North Korea will launch a nuclear weapon into LA or Denver".

Trump and South Korea's President are due to meet May 22 at the White House.

"Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture!"

Thae emphasized that Kim would demand an assurance of safety against any attacks on North Korea by other countries in return of denuclearisation.

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