Buildings dismantled at North Korean nuclear test site

Tuesday, 15 May, 2018

"Several key operational support buildings, located just outside the North, West and South Portals, have been razed" since April 24, write Frank V. Pabian, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Jack Liu.

North Korea has invited eight South Korean journalists to an event to showcase the dismantling of its nuclear test site scheduled for next week, Seoul's unification ministry said Tuesday.

North Korean authorities have started the process of closing its largest nuclear test site, Pungere in the North-East of the country, reports TASS with reference to American research Institute.

Satellite photos indicate that North Korea has begun dismantling its nuclear test site ahead of a historic summit between leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump, a USA monitor said Tuesday.

President Donald Trump and North Korean's Kim Jong-un have a planned June 12 meeting in Singapore, the first such encounter between a sitting USA president and a North Korean leader.

Pompeo, who recently said North Korea would be "brimming with prosperity" if it gave up its nuclear weapons soon, emphasized the difference between direct economic aid and allowing private investment, which he said would "create conditions for real economic prosperity for the North Korean people that will rival that of the South".

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.

Trump past year threatened North Korea with "fire and fury". It comes ahead of a historic U.S. "No president has ever put America in a position where the North Korean leadership thought that this was truly possible". Trump welcomed the "gracious gesture". As such, it said, it would shutter the Punggye-ri site.

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.

"I would imagine that the plan is to sanitize the site to remove any sensitive information about the state of North Korea's nuclear weapons development, then invite in the journalists and experts to confirm that, yes, the site is now a ghost-town", Jeffrey Lewis and David Schmerler, both arms control experts, wrote in a separate blog post analysis satellite imagery.

'The implementation of the decision means getting rid of all the nuclear weapons, dismantling them, taking them to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, ' Bolton said in an interview with ABC's This Week.

Satellite photos from last month showed signs of construction at the North's Yongbyon nuclear facility. But the North's announcement Saturday did not mention anything about inviting experts to Punggy-ri, spawning speculation that the North may want to hide some information about its past nuclear tests.