North Korea on Saturday said that it would dismantle its Punggye-ri nuclear test site between May 23 and May 25, pledging to blow up the tunnels in front of foreign media. The decision comes ahead of the historic meet between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore.
According to KCNA news agency, the Pyongyang’s Foreign Ministry said that the tunnels would be destroyed and observation & research facilities and ground-based units would get removed. Reporters from China, the United States, Russia, South Korea and Britain would be allowed to cover the nuclear test site to show its dismantlement in a transparent manner, the statement read.
Donald Trump lauded N Korea’s move to destroy its nuclear test site and called it ‘smart’ and ‘gracious’.
North Korea has announced that they will dismantle Nuclear Test Site this month, ahead of the big Summit Meeting on June 12th. Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2018
Punggye-ri has hosted all six of the North Korea’s nuclear tests, the latest and so far, the most powerful one in September 2017, which Pyongyang said was an H-bomb.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday had said that if North Korea agreed to surrender its nuclear arms, Washington would work with Pyongyang to rebuild its impoverished economy.
"If North Korea takes bold action to quickly denuclearize, the United States is prepared to work with North Korea to achieve prosperity on par with our South Korean friends," Mike Pompeo had said in a statement.
(With agency inputs)