Satellite Photos Show North Korea Razing Nuclear Test Site, Analysts Say

15 May, 2018, 22:33 | Author: Diane Mills
  • North Korea Nuclear Test Site

I think what the prospect for North Korea is to become a normal nation, to behave and interact with the rest of the world the way South Korea does'.

South Korea, meanwhile, said it will hold a high-level meeting with the North Wednesday to discuss measures focusing on reducing border tensions and resuming reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 war.

The reporters will take photos at the site and cover the dismantlement of the Punggyeri nuclear test site. "No president has ever put America in a position where the North Korean leadership thought that this was truly possible".

North Korea has said it will completely dismantle the site, including collapsing the tunnels and blocking the entrances somewhere between May 23 and May 25.

The official closure of Punggye-Ri will come a few weeks before Kim Jong-Un meets US President Donald Trump on June 12 in Singapore.

North Korea's reference to such activity is created to communicate that even without underground testing, the country intends to maintain its nuclear arsenal and be a "responsible" steward of those weapons at the same time, said Andrea Berger, a senior analyst at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

While satellite imagery indicates that the north portal of the test-site has been abandoned after the damage caused by the quake, two of the other areas, approximately 2.5 and 3.5 kilometers from the peak of the mountain, remain accessible through the south and west portals.

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North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (R) exchange documents during a signing ceremony near the end of their historic summit at the truce village of Panmunjom on April 27, 2018.

A new test site could be constructed in three to six months, depending on how much labor was thrown at the job, according to Suh Kune Y., a nuclear engineering professor at Seoul National University.

Still, the closure of the underground testing site could be a useful precedent for Washington and Seoul as they proceed with the nuclear negotiations with Pyongyang, analysts say.

KCNA said journalists, including from the United States and South Korea, would be invited to cover the event, to "show in a transparent manner the dismantlement of the northern nuclear test ground to be carried out".

However, he said the other crucial steps North Korea needed to take to demilitarize its nuclear program were to shut its plutonium production reactor, and open its uranium processing to inspection. "What we need to see from Kim Jong Un is that he and the entire North Korean regime have made a strategic decision that they'll be better off without weapons of mass destruction".

The researchers published an analysis of satellite images from May 7th of the nuclear facility on Monday. Such an assurance is unlikely to be given by the nuclear-countries. "I think there'd a be a lot of support in Congress to give North Korea a better life - provide aid, relieve sanctions - with one condition: that you give up your nuclear weapons program in a verifiable way".

The North went on to conduct its second nuclear test in May 2009.

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