North Korea to hold 'ceremony' for dismantling nuclear test site

North Korea to hold 'ceremony' for dismantling nuclear test site”

In a statement on Saturday, North Korea said the intention was to allow "not only the local press but also journalists of other countries to conduct on-the-spot coverage in order to show in a transparent manner the dismantlement of the northern nuclear test ground".

"In due consideration of small space of the test ground, journalists from other countries will be confined to those from China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom and South Korea", said the statement.

Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in affirmed their commitment to the goal of "realising, through complete denuclearisation, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula" at a summit in the Demilitarized Zone that divides their countries last month.

At a ruling party meeting last month, the North announced that it had suspended all tests of nuclear devices and ICBMs and the plan to close the nuclear test site.

North Korea has said it will hold a "ceremony" for the dismantling of its nuclear test site from May 23-25.

North Korea's six known nuclear tests have taken place in Punggye-ri, a location in the northeastern part of North Korea where a system of tunnels have been dug under Mount Mantap.

The announcement comes days after Washington announced that the historic summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump will be held June 12 in Singapore.

The tunnels of the test site would be blown up and their entrances completely blocked, the ministry statement said.

Is North Korea opening up?

This week the North released three Korean-Americans it had detained into the care of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was making his second trip to Pyongyang in two months.

Pompeo had 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.

North Korea indicated that "technical measures" are already being taken in preparation. The administration is approaching the summit with cautious optimism.

"We are starting off on a new footing - I really think we have a very good chance of doing something very meaningful".

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