Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Buildings being dismantled at NK nuke test site

Buildings being dismantled at NK nuke test site

"The prospect is for North Korea to become a normal nation, to behave and interact with the rest of the world the way South Korea does", Bolton told host Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union".

A top Trump administration says North Korea's nuclear weapons should be shipped to East Tennessee if that rogue regime makes good on its promise to dismantle its nuclear-testing program.

Denuclearization of North Korea "means getting rid of all the nuclear weapons, dismantling them, taking them to Oak Ridge", Bolton said on ABC's This Week. Pompeo said that such a move would be a huge boost to the country's economic prosperity and could develop a financial relationship that "will rival" that of South Korea and the U.S.

Others have speculated that the tests have significantly damaged the underground facility. He sent a delegation to February's Winter Olympics in South Korea, held a landmark summit with Moon in April and last week released three Americans detained in North Korea.

The official Korean Central New Agency said dismantlement of the Punggye-ri nuclear test ground would involve collapsing all of its tunnels with explosions, blocking its entrances, and removing all observation facilities, research buildings and security posts.

The reclusive state also released three USA citizens imprisoned in North Korea as newly confirmed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Pyongyang for a second time last week to prepare for Donald Trump's upcoming summit.

The move is another notable step in North Korea's diplomatic charm offensive, which comes after a year of constant weapons testing and heated rhetoric between Washington and Pyongyang. It won't be US taxpayers.

North Korea for decades has been pushing a concept of "denuclearization" that bears no resemblance to the American definition.

"We hope North Korea will seize the moment and take the bold steps necessary to lead North Korea to a peaceful and prosperous future". Pompeo, speaking on CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday said that the regime will benefit from private investment, not assistance from USA taxpayers, in exchange for abandoning its nuclear weapon program.

The next US presidential election is held in November 2020.

The source said, "Currently, North Korea is trying to grasp what the United States wants and add onto it a bit to present a 'big proposal.' The United States, knowing this, intentionally is not revealing what it wants".

While both the United States and South Korea welcomed the move, Japan struck a discordant note.

Pyongyang said at the weekend it will "completely" destroy the Punggye-ri test site, in a ceremony scheduled between May 23-25 in front of invited foreign media.

"Commercial satellite imagery from may 7 shows that the dismantling of the test site has already begun".

The new images show key buildings and several smaller sheds have been torn down and a rail line connecting one of the entrances had been removed.

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