S. Korean leader praises North's plan to dismantle nuke site

S. Korean leader praises North's plan to dismantle nuke site

North Korea has carried out six underground nuclear tests-including the last and most powerful one in September 2017-at the Punggye-ri site.

On Monday, 38 North, a Pyongyang analysis website, revealed satellite imagery from May 7 that provided evidence that dismantlement of the test site was underway.

"It will make honest efforts.to establish a durable lasting peace mechanism" with its neighbour to the south, he said, urging the worldwide community to "extend its active support in encouraging and promoting the current positive climate".

South Korea has said Mr Kim has genuine interest in dealing away his nuclear weapons in return for economic benefits.

However, in spite of its pledge to stop testing, North Korea has given no indication it is willing to go beyond statements of broad conceptual support for denuclearization by unilaterally abandoning a nuclear weapons program its ruling family has seen as crucial to its survival.

North Korea for decades has been pushing a concept of "denuclearisation" that bears no resemblance to the American definition. -North Korean summit, which Trump has said will be held June 12 in Singapore.

"Park believes Kim will keep his nukes simply to demonstrate to his own people that he is the ruler of a nuclear state and therefore commands the respect of Washington and Seoul". The announcement would surely minimise any serious conflict especially in view of threatening posture of the United States that has vowed to deal with the threat firmly.

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It is also one of eight countries with nuclear test capacity, including the United States, China and Iran, which have so far failed to either sign or ratify the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, blocking it from taking effect.

North Korea's official name is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "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 North said it will hold a ceremony at the site next week to allow local and worldwide journalists to witness the efforts.

But in September 2008, the North declared that it would resume reprocessing plutonium, complaining that Washington wasn't fulfilling its promise to remove the country from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday that he thinks Congress would be willing to economically support North Korea once they get rid of their nuclear weapons, and stop trying to develop them.

Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at California's Middlebury Institute of International Studies, said in a blog post this week that recent satellite images had shown the removal of some buildings from the site. These agencies oversaw the country's 2006, 2009, 2013, 2016, and 2017 missile tests, as well as the 2,500-5,000 metric tons of chemical weapons the organization estimates are in North Korea.

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