Korea begins dismantling nuclear test site: U.S. analysis

Donald Trump says North Korea is'very smart for planning to close nuclear site

The regime later said it would invite journalists from China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the US between May 23 and May 25 to observe the collapse and closing of test tunnels and other facilities.

President Trump has assured us he'll drive a hard bargain with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and he set the goal posts firmly at Kim's getting rid of his nuclear weapons.

It will be the first time that leaders of the United States and North Korea have met in person.

Pompeo met previously with Kim while Central Intelligence Agency director, flying secretly to North Korea over the Easter weekend to discuss the possibility of a summit meeting with Trump and negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program.

He further claimed that North Korea wishes to become a nuclear weapons state under the shield of officially being recognised as a denuclearised state.

North Korea has invited eight South Korean journalists to an event to showcase the dismantling of its nuclear test site scheduled for next week, Seoul's unification ministry said Tuesday. The office reported that the exact date of the ceremony will depend on the weather conditions.

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

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In this process are invited worldwide journalists, but not nuclear inspectors.

But one step that was discussed, the closure and demolition of North Korea's nuclear testing site at Punggye-ri appears to be fully under way, according to satellite photographs.

North Korea announced last month that it "no longer need [s]" nuclear and missile tests because the country has "verified the completion of nuclear weapons".

But the USA "will have to provide security assurances to be sure", Pompeo said, without elaborating on details.

"I think Chairman Kim understands that: I think he appreciates the fact that this (summit meeting with Trump) is going to have to be different and big and special, and something that has never been undertaken before". Asked last month what he meant when he said "denuclearization", Trump said: "It means they get rid of their nukes - very simple".

These significant changes show that dismantling of complex, located in a mountainous area in norast of country, "is very advanced", according to this analysis.

Suh Kyun-ryul, a professor of nuclear engineering at Seoul National University, agreed that the test site could contain residual nuclear material, saying the inspection process should come first, before shutting down the test site. Pompeo said that the US was willing to help the impoverished North boost its economy to levels like those in prosperous South Korea.

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