North Korea invites media to see nuclear test site destroyed
North Korea plans to officially dismantle its nuclear test site later this month at a ceremony attended by foreign media that will pave the way for leader Kim Jong-un’s summit with the US president, Donald Trump.I have seen unconfirmed reports that North Korea has also recalled some of its scientists who have been working with Iran. If that is the case it may have been on their missile program, but also could have been tied to their nuclear program too. While the dismantling of the test site in front of journalist is one thing, it will probably still need to be confirmed by scientists.
State authorities will put the site out of operation by using explosives to collapse the tunnels used for testing between 23 and 25 May, the foreign ministry said in a statement on the official KCNA website.
Above ground North Korea will block all entries to the site, and remove all guard posts, observation sites and research institutes, the report said. Guards and researchers will be withdrawn, and the area shut off.
Chinese geologists believe the mountain over the main site was likely to have collapsed after North Korea exploded its largest ever nuclear weapon last year, making it unsafe for further testing and requiring radiation monitoring.
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.
It comes after the Pyongyang government released three American citizens it had been holding. The men, who Trump had described as hostages, were handed over to newly confirmed secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, on his second trip to the North Korean capital to prepare for the summit.