Dismantling of North Korea nuclear site 'well under way', satellite images show

15 May, 2018, 21:58 | Author: Carlos George
  • Jonathan Ernst- RC1FEF

The U.S.is said to consider North Korea's declaration of halting further nuclear and missile tests as "not enough" for a "complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement", Yonhap said.

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.

But an analysis by 38 North, a North Korea-focused USA website, said commercial imagery taken last week shows that several operational support buildings have been razed and rails for mining carts have apparently been removed.

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

The report said plenty of work remains, presumably left for the journalists to observe at the ceremony, which the North has said will be between May 23 and 25, depending on weather.

South Korean president Moon Jae-in has welcomed North Korea's plans to dismantle its nuclear test facility and interpreted the decision as holding three layers of meaning, he told his aides at a meeting on Monday.

The move comes amid a major thaw in relations between Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington that witnessed a summit last month between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, where the two agreed in principle to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

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"DPRK will join global desires and efforts for a total ban on nuclear tests", North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Han Tae-song said in an address to the Conference on Disarmament, using North Korea's official acronym.

"One group of researchers found that the most recent blast tore open a hole in the mountain, which then collapsed upon itself".

The North has said it needs nuclear weapons to counter what it believes is a US effort to strangle its economy and overthrow the Kim government.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shakes hands with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in this May 9, 2018 photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang.

South Korea has said Kim has shown an interest in dealing away his nuclear weapons in return for economic benefits.

Mr Thae, who fled with his family to South Korea in 2016, made the explosive claims in his new book "The Secret Code of the 3rd Floor Room".

And Pompeo said he believed Kim Jong Un shares the same objectives as America, with the summit task, therefore, being for Trump and Kim to "meet to validate the process by which this would go forward, to set out those markers so that we can negotiate this outcome". An armistice brought about a ceasefire in 1953, but the war never officially ended because the parties failed to reach agreement over a peace treaty.

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