Dismantling of North Korea nuclear site 'well under way': U.S. monitor
15 May, 2018, 22:32 | Author: Sheila Harris
North Korea has said it will dismantle its nuclear test site between May 23 and May 25, to uphold its pledge to discontinue nuclear tests, its state media reportedon Saturday, a month ahead of a planned North Korea-U.S. summit in Singapore. However, there are lingering doubts about whether Kim would ever agree to fully relinquish the weapons he probably views as his only guarantee of survival. "They need enormous amounts of electricity in North Korea, to work with them to develop infrastructure". After last pact between North Korea and United States, Pyongyang destroyed in 2007 cooling tower of Yongbyon nuclear power plant, where plutonium has been manufactured for its bombs.
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A final analysis of satellite images taken on North Korea's atomic evidence base shows "a first definitive test" that regime is dismantling site.
Trump and Kim are due to hold talks in Singapore on June 12, the first-ever meeting between a sitting USA president and a North Korean leader.
Pompeo's remarks come despite the Trump administration's previous emphasis on not following the paths of past US governments that offered economic aid to Pyongyang, in return for incremental steps to end its nuclear program. "The White House underscored the importance of shutting down the test site and allowing thorough inspection and verification by nuclear specialists".
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However, analysts say the last five nuclear tests were all conducted using the same tunnel, and that although that tunnel may be damaged beyond fix, the North Koreans could dig others for potential future tests.
Pompeo dangled the prospect of a gusher of United States investment in North Korea, with upgrades in energy, infrastructure, technology and agriculture, if a deal is struck.
According to the KCNA announcement, the North will invite local press, but worldwide media will be limited to journalists from China, Russia, South Korea, Britain and the United States, due to the testing ground's "small space". Kim has denied such views, saying the site has two additional underground tunnels that could be used for new tests. "What we need to see from Kim Jong Un is that he and the entire North Korean regime have made a strategic decision that they'll be better off without weapons of mass destruction".
Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday that he thinks Congress would be willing to economically support North Korea once they get rid of their nuclear weapons, and stop trying to develop them. It won't be US taxpayers. Dismantling test field may show a desire not to continue trials, but it does not imply that country is willing to deliver its nuclear arsenal.
The North went on to conduct its second nuclear test in May 2009.
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