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North Korea to dismantle nuclear site in May ceremony

This DigitalGlobe satellite image of the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Facility in North Korea was taken February 11, 2013.Image copyright

Image caption

A satellite image of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea

North Korea says it will begin dismantling its nuclear test site in less than two weeks in a ceremony attended by foreign journalists.

Pyongyang said it was taking “technical measures” to carry out the process between 23-25 May, North Korean state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.

Scientists previously said the site may have partially collapsed in September.

The move is due to take place three weeks before US President Donald Trump meets North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

“A ceremony for dismantling the nuclear test ground is now scheduled between May 23 and 25, depending on weather conditions,” KCNA said, citing a foreign ministry press release.

The dismantling of the Punggye-ri site will involve the collapsing of all tunnels using explosives and the removal of all observation facilities, research buildings and security posts.

Journalists from South Korea, China, the US, Britain and Russia will be asked to witness the event.

In a statement on Saturday, North Korea said the intention was to allow “not only the local press but also journalists of other countries to conduct on-the-spot coverage in order to show in a transparent manner the dismantlement of the northern nuclear test ground”.

Situated in mountainous terrain in the north-east, the Punggye-ri site is thought to be the North’s main nuclear facility.

North Korea to dismantle nuclear site in May ceremony}

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