N. Korea has started dismantling nuclear test site: 38 North

Mike Pompeo Fox News Screen Shot 2018 05 13

Kim pledged to close the complex after his historic meeting with South Korean president Moon Jae-in, saying North Korea no longer needed the site.

"Commercial satellite imagery from May 7 provided the first definitive evidence that dismantlement of the test site was already well underway", Efe news agency reported citing the 38 North website report that published and analysed satellite images of the site.

North Korea's foreign Ministry said the country will continue to 'promote close contacts and dialogue with the neighbouring countries and the worldwide society so as to safeguard peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and over the globe'. He did not specify what the military has seen.

But not all buildings have been destroyed yet, the researchers concluded.

Still, the larger buildings, including the two largest at the Command Center and the Main Administrative Support Area, are intact, as are the entrances to the tunnels used for nuclear testing.

"Moreover, no tunnel entrances appear to have yet been permanently closed", they added.

Kim said during the meeting that the nuclear test site's mission had come "to an end" because the North had completed developing nuclear-capable intermediate-range missiles, ICBMs and other strike means.

His comments on Sunday mirror what he told reporters at a news conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Friday.

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Journalists from China, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom will also attend the event.

Experts say that it is still a meaningful step toward denuclearization ahead of its unprecedented summit talks, to be held on June 12 with the US, where its nuclear weapons program will likely top the agenda.

When asked if human rights would be on the agenda at the summit, for example, Pompeo said: "America's interest here is preventing the risk that North Korea will launch a nuclear weapon into LA or Denver". As such, it said, it would shutter the Punggye-ri site.

It suggested the incident "may" have been the reason for Kim's announcement of a suspension in testing. The southern and western portals could still support detonations, even if the northern side was badly damaged over the five nuclear tests conducted there, 38 North said April 30.

Seoul's Unification Ministry said the North sent a telephone message in the name of the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland via the Panmunjeom border village on Tuesday morning.

The US price for normalisation - complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation - is one Pyongyang has never before been willing to pay, regarding nuclear weapons as the ultimate guarantee of the regime's survival.

Kim's latest diplomatic overture has seen him hold a summit with the South's President Moon Jae-in and travel twice in less than two months to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

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