North Korea details plans to dismantle nuclear bomb test site

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No. A 38 North analysis of satellite images taken May 7 showed that several support buildings outside the northern, western and southern portals had been razed while some mining cart rails had been removed.

"DPRK will join global desires and efforts for a total ban on nuclear tests", North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Han Tae-song said in an address to the Conference on Disarmament, using North Korea's official acronym.

So, it's a good confidence building measure, but not necessarily a sign of irreversible disarmament."Siegfried Hecker, a former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the United States and a leading expert on North Korea's nuclear program, said collapsing the Punggye-ri tunnels would be "a big and positive step", given his belief that North Korea still required more nuclear and missile tests to reach the USA mainland with a nuclear-tipped missile".

South Korea, meanwhile, said it will hold a high-level meeting with the North Wednesday to discuss measures focusing on reducing border tensions and resuming reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 war.

"We hope North Korea will seize the moment and take the bold steps necessary to lead North Korea to a peaceful and prosperous future".

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As reported by the Yonhap news agency on Monday, Thae Yong-ho a former London-based North Korean diplomat expressed doubts over the possibility of a complete denuclearization of North Korea. "The White House underscored the importance of shutting down the test site and allowing thorough inspection and verification by nuclear specialists".

South Korea, which brokered the planned talks between Trump and Kim, says Kim has genuine interested in dealing away his nuclear weapons in return for economic benefits.

North Korea's Foreign Ministry announced Saturday that it will dismantle the test site between May 23 and 25.

However no tunnel entrances appear to have been permanently closed and some main buildings are still intact, it added, saying the destruction of those facilities was likely to be carried out in front of the foreign media.

Guterres in the statement also said that he "looks forward to this positive momentum being consolidated at the summit between the leaders of the United States and the DPRK next month".

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On Kim's demeanor, Pompeo said "conversations are professional" and that the North Korean leader "knows his brief" and is "able to deal with complexity when the conversation requires it".

Dialogue brokered by South Korea has seen US-North Korea relations go from trading personal insults and threats of war past year to a summit between Kim and Trump which will be held in Singapore on June 12.

Pompeo, who has met twice with the North Korean leader to discuss the summit, said he was "convinced" Kim shared USA goals.

The pictures, taken on 7 May, are "the first definitive evidence that dismantlement of the test site was already well underway", according to a blog post by 38 North, a website run by former USA diplomats. But it remains unclear if Kim would ever fully relinquish the weapons he probably views as his only guarantee of survival.

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