North Korea details plans to dismantle nuclear test site
North Korea has scheduled the dismantlement of its nuclear test site for sometime between May 23 and 25 in order to uphold its pledge to discontinue nuclear tests, according to the country’s state-run media.
The official Korean Central New Agency said dismantlement of the Punggye-ri nuclear test ground would involve collapsing all of its tunnels with explosions, blocking its entrances, and removing all observation facilities, research buildings and security posts.
“The Nuclear Weapon Institute and other concerned institutions are taking technical measures for dismantling the northern nuclear test ground ... in order to ensure transparency of discontinuance of the nuclear test,” KCNA said.
South Korea’s presidential office echoed the sentiment on Sunday, saying it shows Pyongyang’s willingness to denuclearize through actions beyond words.
However, in spite of its pledge to stop testing, North Korea has given no indication it is willing to go beyond statements of broad conceptual support for denuclearization by unilaterally abandoning a nuclear weapons program its ruling family has seen as crucial to its survival.
In announcing the plan to shut Punggye-ri last month, Kim said North Korea no longer needed to conduct tests because it had completed its goal of developing nuclear weapons.
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will hold talks in Singapore on June 12, the first-ever meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.