South Korean military says North Korea preparing nuke site closure

South Korean military says North Korea preparing nuke site closure

South Korean military says North Korea preparing nuke site closure

Still, verified action to redeem specific North Korean promises is a rare and positive thing, and part of what some have called a "charm offensive" by Kim Jong-un in advance of his June 12 meeting in Singapore with Donald Trump.

"Commercial satellite imagery from May 7 provided the first definitive evidence that dismantlement of the test site was already well underway", Efe news agency reported citing the 38 North website report that published and analysed satellite images of the site.

All of North Korea's six known nuclear bomb tests have taken place at Punggye-ri, in the northeastern of North Korea where a system of tunnels have been dug under Mount Mantap.

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

The ministry said the North will continue to "promote close contacts and dialogue with the neighboring countries and the global society so as to safeguard peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and over the globe".

The announcement was welcomed by Washington and Seoul.

The U.S. government's denuclearization roadmap regarding North Korea is taking concrete shape at a rapid pace.

After Saturday's announcement, President TrumpDonald John TrumpRomney denounces pastor slated to speak at U.S. embassy in Jerusalem Pentagon finds problems with Kushner-backed health program: report Apple CEO Tim Cook praises Parkland, "Me Too" activists in commencement speech MORE thanked North Korea for its "gracious gesture".

A move like denuclearisation would conflict the integral power structure of North Korea, Thae added.

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

On Saturday, he told Reuters that closure of Punggye-ri did not mean much in terms of disarmament, given that the United States, for example, stopped nuclear testing in 1992.

[I] t's also possible North Korea no longer needs the site.

Chinese scientists claimed that the final test in 2017 caused serious damage to the mountain test site and created a serious risk of collapse, making it unsafe for further testing.

Meanwhile, an official from Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said the country plans to ask the North to increase the number of South Korean journalists permitted to cover the event.

At that meeting, along with establishing a sustainable peace regime and reuniting families, the leaders of the two Koreas said they would foster economic cooperation.

Last month, Pompeo became the first known United States official to meet with Kim, where he helped lay the groundwork for the upcoming meeting with Trump.

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