North Korea Begins Dismantling Nuclear Test Site

North Korea Begins Dismantling Nuclear Test Site

Satellite photos indicate 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 on Tuesday (May 15).

The respected 38 North website said on Tuesday that satellite images dated May 7 showed "the first definitive evidence that dismantlement of the test site was already well under way".

United Nations Secretary-General Antnio Guterres has welcomed the commitment by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to dismantle its nuclear test site at Punggye-ri as an important "confidence-building measure" that that will support efforts towards sustainable peace and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The U.S. made the demand during talks with the North to fine-tune the agenda of the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un set for June 12 summit in Singapore, saying sanctions won't be relaxed unless the demand is met, the sources said. The presidential office also said that the invitation of journalists from various countries meant that the dismantlement of nuclear site would be transparent.

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The report said that some of the rails for the mining carts, which had led from the tunnels to their respective spoil piles, have apparently been removed.

Excavation of a new tunnel has also been halted since late March, it added.

"It is conceivably for a future camera position to record the closure of the West Portal", the group said.

The United States has demanded that North Korea ship some of its nuclear weapons, fissile material and long-range missiles out of the country within months after next month's summit between the two countries, sources said Sunday.