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North Korea Appears to Be Shutting Down Its Nuke-Testing Site

15 May 2018

North Korea will never completely give up its nuclear weapons, a top defector said ahead of leader Kim Jong Un's landmark summit with US President Donald Trump next month. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan would not resume normal ties with the country unless North Korea settles the row over the abduction of a dozen Japanese citizens between the 1970s and 1980s.

White House national security adviser John Bolton and US Senator Lindsey Graham also commented on potential economic rewards North Korea stands to gain from denuclearization.

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

North Korea's Foreign Ministry announced over the weekend it would invite journalists to watch the site's shuttering as early as May 23.

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.

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On Saturday, North Korea said it will destroy its nuclear test site later this month - a gesture Trump quickly hailed as "very smart and gracious". "They need enormous amounts of electricity in North Korea, to work with them to develop infrastructure".

Kim last month announced that his country would halt its own nuclear tests and intercontinental missile launches, which was widely hailed as an important step towards denuclearising the Korean peninsula. The North has been vowing to pursue nuclear development unless Washington removes its 28,500 troops from South Korea and the nuclear umbrella defending South Korea and Japan.

However, Pompeo insists the model used by the Trump administration is "fundamentally different", and they are hopeful the outcome will be "fundamentally different", as well.

However, analysts writing for the North Korea monitoring blog 38 Northreport that moves to tear down the site are already underway.

Thae emphasized that Kim would demand an assurance of safety against any attacks on North Korea by other countries in return of denuclearisation.

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Journalists from China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom and South Korea will be invited to witness the dismantling process.

"It'd be the best money we ever spent", Graham told host Margaret Brennan.

The ministry said the North will continue to "promote close contacts and dialogue with the neighboring countries and the worldwide society so as to safeguard peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and over the globe".

South Korea had no immediate response to the statement. "It is extremely important for North Korea to normalise diplomatic relations with Japan to walk along the right track as part of worldwide society", he said. "I'm trying to stop an unstable regime from having more weapons that can hit America". It comes ahead of a historic U.S.

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North Korea Appears to Be Shutting Down Its Nuke-Testing Site