North Korea to Dismantle Nuclear Site Ahead of Trump's Meeting With Kim

North Korea to Dismantle Nuclear Site Ahead of Trump's Meeting With Kim

"A ceremony for dismantling the nuclear test ground is now scheduled between May 23 and May 25, depending on weather condition", the statement said.

The dismantling will include collapsing its test tunnels with explosives and blocking their entrances, removing observation facilities and withdrawing guards and researchers from the site.

North Korea announced on Saturday that it would hold a ceremony on May 23-25 to dismantle its nuclear test site in a public show of goodwill toward the global community before President Donald Trump's planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture", he tweeted.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un previously had announced the conclusion of North Korea's nuclear testing program and the intended shuttering of the Punggye-ri complex. Now he has pledged to destroy them.

Last month, South Korean President Moon Jae-in had asked the United Nations to help verify the shutdown.

Dialogue brokered by Seoul has seen US-North Korea relations go from trading personal insults and threats of war previous year to a summit between Kim and President Donald Trump due in Singapore on June 12.

Early on May 10, Pompeo returned to the United States from a second trip to Pyongyang together with three American prisoners released from North Korea.

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Mr Trump announced the date and place of the summit earlier this week, hours after he welcomed home three USA detainees released from North Korea.

In November, North Korea boasted that it had developed a missile capable of striking the whole U.S. mainland.

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.

However there was no mention of allowing foreign experts access to the site in Saturday's statement from North Korea.

However, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that she did not believe that Moon would be a part of the historic Trump-Kim summit the following month.

The rogue nation will start to take the facility apart on May 23, with worldwide media watching.

Six nuclear tests - including North Korea's most powerful test to date in September 2017 - have been carried out at the facility since Pyongyang began experiments in 2006.

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