Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
World News | By Joan Terry

North Korea Starts to Dismantle Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site

North Korea Starts to Dismantle Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site

The dismantling of the mountainous complex, which has been the site of all six nuclear tests conducted by North Korea since 2006, is part of its promise to stop nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests ahead of the first-ever U.S.

North Korea, whose economy has been suffocated for decades by worldwide sanctions imposed by the USA, was promised by Mike Pompeo on May 11 that "If Chairman Kim chooses the right path, there is a future brimming with peace and prosperity for the North Korea people". "They need enormous amounts of electricity in North Korea, to work with them to develop infrastructure".

The liquidation of the landfill will be observed by experts from South Korea and the United States. In return, the U.S.is willing to help the impoverished nation strengthen its economy.

The announcement was welcomed by Washington and Seoul.

The North has said it needs nuclear weapons to counter what it believes is a US effort to strangle its economy and overthrow the Kim government. Last month, President Trump called the North's decision to suspend missile and nuclear tests "very good news".

After Saturday's announcement, President TrumpDonald John TrumpRomney denounces pastor slated to speak at USA embassy in Jerusalem Pentagon finds problems with Kushner-backed health program: report Apple CEO Tim Cook praises Parkland, "Me Too" activists in commencement speech MORE thanked North Korea for its "gracious gesture".

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Over the years peaceful gestures made by the North Korean regime with respect to its nuclear program have not been particularly reliable. These refer to experiments involving a subcritical mass of nuclear materials that allow scientists to examine the performance and safety of weapons without triggering a nuclear chain reaction and explosion.

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 U.S. assistance in rebuilding Pyongyang's ailing economy. Kim has denied such views, saying the site has two additional underground tunnels that could be used for new tests.

North Korea invited foreign journalists from the U.S., China, Russia, U.K. and South Korea to attend the event.

North Korea's foreign Ministry said the country will continue to 'promote close contacts and dialogue with the neighbouring countries and the global society so as to safeguard peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and over the globe'.

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a nuclear research and storage facility that already holds key components from Libya's nuclear weapons programme. It won't be US taxpayers.

The administration of George W. Bush removed North Korea from the list in October 2008 after the country agreed to continue disabling its nuclear plant. "I think there'd a be a lot of support in Congress to give North Korea a better life - provide aid, relieve sanctions - with one condition: that you give up your nuclear weapons program in a verifiable way".

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