North Korea to hold 'ceremony' for dismantling nuclear test site

North Korea to dismantle nuclear test sites in just 11 DAYS in huge win for Trump

North Korea to dismantle nuclear test sites in just 11 DAYS in huge win for Trump

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.

Earlier Saturday morning, North Korea said it will hold a "ceremony" for the dismantling of its nuclear test site on May 23-25 in what would be a dramatic but symbolic prelude to Kim Jong Un's summit with Trump next month.

President Trump thanked the Koreans for their "kind and gracious gesture".

Journalists applying to cover the event will be limited to citizens of China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and South Korea, due to the remote and diminutive nature of the site.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has met twice with Kim in China over the past two months, including a two-day meeting this week, in what is seen as a push to ensure Beijing's interests are upheld in any settlement between North Korea and the U.S. Now he has pledged to destroy them. During the historic inter-peninsula summit between South Korea's President Moon Jae-in and North Korea's Kim Jong-un, the state media waited to broadcast the summit to its people in order to edit footage to help paint Kim Jong-un in positive light.

But Kim's move to formally decommission the test site and invite foreign journalists to a highly sensitive military site to observe its shutdown is another gesture of goodwill before the 12 June summit with Trump in Singapore.

However, observers noted that there has been no mention of foreign experts being allowed access to the site.

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There, reporters would board a charter train to the nuclear test ground in an "uninhabited deep mountain area".

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.

Kim said during the meeting that the nuclear test site's mission had come "to an end" because the North had completed the process of developing nuclear-capable intermediate-range missiles, ICBMs and other strike means.

On April 20 the North Korean leader said that his nation already had "completed its mission" to test its weapons capability and added that it had no further need for the site.

In June 2008, worldwide broadcasters were allowed to air the demolishing of a cooling tower at the Nyongbyon reactor site, a year after the North reached an agreement with the U.S. and four other nations to disable its nuclear facilities in return for an aid package.

Kim is expected to demand that the USA pledge to accept the continuation of North Korea's hereditary regime in return for vowing to achieve denuclearization on the divided peninsula in a "phased" and "synchronized" manner.

Trump is expected to push North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons at the meeting in exchange for the removal of economic sanctions and United States assistance in rebuilding Pyongyang's ailing economy.

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