North Korea inviting South Korean reporters to closure of nuclear site

Leroy Wright
May 15, 2018

Satellite images show that North Korea has begun dismantling its nuclear-test site, razing several key buildings and removing rails weeks ahead of its summit with the United States, according to a monitoring website.

North Korea will invite foreign journalist, but not experts, to observe the destruction of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site.

But President Donald Trump, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and others have welcomed the decision, saying it's a measure of the North's sincerity in its recent outreach to the global community.

And in the event Trump can secure the "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of North Korea", Pompeo said US investment could be possible, with "private sector Americans coming in" to the North to improve its energy, infrastructure, and agriculture sectors.

The Chinese city of Dandong, which lies on the border with North Korea, is tightening regulation of its property market after speculators pushed up home prices as they bet on Pyongyang's pledge to rebuild its economy.

John Bolton, the president's national security adviser, described the types of steps that North Korea would need to take as part of a denuclearization process, including the potential involvement of a processing center in Tennessee.

North Korea has a total of four tunnels and while two were shut down following previous nuclear tests, one remained usable and the other was under construction until recently, a South Korean presidential official told reporters on Sunday under condition of anonymity.

The historic summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un is scheduled in Singapore for June 12.

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President Donald Trump and North Korean's Kim Jong-un have a planned June 12 meeting in Singapore, the first such encounter between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

On Tuesday, North Korea invited eight South Korean journalists to witness that event, according to Yonhap news agency.

Last month, Pompeo became the first known United States official to meet with Kim, where he helped lay the groundwork for the upcoming meeting with Trump.

Critics say that the nuclear site has already been rendered useless following the previous six blast tests and that dismantling it can be seen just as a symbolic step.

'Make no mistake about it, America's interest here is preventing the risk that North Korea will launch a nuclear weapon into L.A. or Denver or to the very place we're sitting here this morning, ' Pompeo said from Washington.

But there are lingering doubts about whether Kim will ever agree to fully relinquish his nukes.

Pompeo told "Face the Nation" that his most recent trip to North Korea was created to lay the groundwork for President Trump's upcoming summit with Kim.

The ultimate goal for North Korea is to become a nuclear weapons state, claims a former North Korean diplomat.

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