Addressing the elephant in the room

North Korea appears to be serious about denuclearization, reveals new steps to be taken before summit

nuclear test site

North Korea will publicly dismantle its nuclear test site in two weeks. Showing another sign of good faith after releasing three hostages this week State Media announced that all of the tunnels at the country’s northeastern testing ground will be destroyed by explosion, and that observation and research facilities and ground-based guard units will also be removed.

Kim already announced at his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month that the site would be shut down. Critics say it is a significant move but doesn’t represent a significant move toward full denuclearization.

“A ceremony for dismantling the nuclear test ground is now scheduled between May 23 and 25,” depending on weather conditions, the Foreign Ministry’s statement said.

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

Following the Moon-Kim summit, Moon’s office said Kim was willing to disclose the process to international experts, but the North’s statement Saturday didn’t include any mention about allowing experts on the site.

A date and place was announced this week for the summit between President Trump and Kim Jong un. It will be held in Singapore on June 12th. The President remains optimistic about the summit but has said publicly numerous times that he will walk away if it appears Kim is not serious. All indications so far at least indicate he is very serious this time.

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