N. Korea to hold 'ceremony' for dismantling nuke test site

Pompeo says US ready to provide N Korea with assurances if it denuclearises

The statement, reported by the South China Morning Post, comes a couple days after President Donald Trump announced that he will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12.

North Korea's Foreign Ministry said Saturday that all of the tunnels at the country's northeastern testing ground will be destroyed by explosion, and that observation and research facilities and ground-based guard units will also be removed.

According to Saturday's statement, the Foreign Ministry would invite local press, but global media would be limited to journalists from China, Russia, South Korea, Britain and the United States, due to the testing ground's "small space".

The North Korean leader revealed during the summit that his country plans to publicly close the test site, announcing experts and journalists from foreign countries will be invited.

South Korea had no immediate response to the statement.

However, lingering doubts remain about whether Kim would ever agree to fully relinquish the weapons he likely views as his only guarantee of survival.

Morrisey, Manchin to face off for US Senate
Both Hagan and Gonzalez aligned themselves with Republican President Donald Trump on issues such as building a border wall. Trump's political advisers view the event as a way to project party unity following a bruising primary.

Washington is seeking the "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation" of the North. This could satisfy Trump but undermine the alliance between Washington and Seoul.

This week the North released three Korean-Americans it had detained into the care of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was making his second trip to Pyongyang in two months. North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests at this site.

This will uphold its pledge to discontinue nuclear tests, state media said on Saturday.

North Korea has declared its nuclear forces complete late previous year after its most powerful nuclear test to date in September and the launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles that experts say are capable of hitting most, if not all, of the continental United States.

"Now that North Korea has accepted in principle that agreements should be verified, USA negotiators should hold them to this standard for any subsequent agreement", said Adam Mount, a senior defense analyst at the Federation of American Scientists. For instance, Kim's father Kim Jong Il invited foreign journalists to watch the destruction of a cooling tower at the Yongbyon reactor, where the North produced plutonium, in the summer of 2008.

Until recently, Mr Kim and Mr Trump had been trading personal insults and threats, heightening tensions over North Korea's nuclear programme.

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