North Korea monitors claim nuclear test site dismantling has begun

North Korea monitors claim nuclear test site dismantling has begun

If accurate, the analysis would show that North Korea has taken concrete steps to dismantle the Punggye-ri nuclear test site.

Several key operational buildings as well as smaller sheds had been razed and rails connecting the tunnels to their waste piles were removed, the monitoring group said.

United States researchers say North Korea has already begun dismantling its Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the country's northeast. After a half dozens tests over a period of more than a decade, some experts believe that Pyongyang is far enough along in its nuclear weapons development that it no longer has to detonate bombs underground to move its program along. "The U.S. doesn't want a gradual dismantling this time, like they did in withdrawing the nuclear deal in Iran".

A statement issued during global negotiations with North Korea in 2005 over its nuclear weapons development said the 'United States affirmed that it has no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and has no intention to attack or invade (North Korea) with nuclear or conventional weapons'.

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White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that North Korea's future could be "unbelievably strong" if it follows through on its commitment to denuclearize.

Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are set to meet June 12 in Singapore for the first ever summit between a sitting USA president and a North Korean leader. "Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture!"

But while Pompeo elaborated that Washington is "always concerned about human rights", he said, "it's the case not only are there political prisoners that remain in North Korea, there are Americans held around the world by other rogue regimes too".

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pledged to close the site during a landmark summit last month with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

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And this week the North announced it will shut its Punggye-ri nuclear test site in less than two weeks with foreign journalists in attendance, in a sign of easing tensions between the West and the reclusive nation.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the test-fire of a strategic submarine underwater ballistic missile (not pictured), in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on May 9, 2015.

Last month, South Korean President Moon Jae-in had asked the United Nations to help verify the shutdown.

North Korea's reference to such activity is created to communicate that even without underground testing, the country intends to maintain its nuclear arsenal and be a "responsible" steward of those weapons at the same time, said Andrea Berger, a senior analyst at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Ors simply speculate that base was unusable after last and most potent nuclear test last September.

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