North Korea is moving ahead with plans to close its nuclear test site next week, South Korea's military said Tuesday, an assessment backed by US researchers who say satellite images show the North has begun dismantling facilities at the site. This is stated in a report published on Monday on the 38 NorthAmerican site of the US-based research group at the Johns Hopkins University.
South Korea's military said on Tuesday that Pyongyang was moving ahead with plans to close its nuclear test site, according to the Associated Press news agency.
Yonhap says the two-week military exercise between the USA and South Korea started Friday. He did not specify what the military has seen.
Some of the rails and mining carts used for excavation of the tunnels in the complex have also been dismantled and other small buildings have been removed.
North Korea has reportedly begun to dismantle a key nuclear test site just weeks before ruler Kim Jong-un is due to meet President Donald Trump for a historic summit. The presidential office also said that the invitation of journalists from various countries meant that the dismantlement of nuclear site would be transparent.
The eight South Korean journalists - four each from a wire agency and a broadcaster that have yet to be determined - will take a chartered flight from Beijing to the North Korean coastal town of Wonsan on May 22, the ministry said.More news: Dallas high school basketball star was actually 25-year-old man
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But days later, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported that the facility had collapsed, threatening an "unprecedented risk" of radioactive fallout.
The closure comes shortly before a planned meeting between Kim and Trump in Singapore on June 12.
Trump is expected to push North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons at the meeting in exchange for the removal of economic sanctions and U.S. assistance in rebuilding Pyongyang's ailing economy.
Seoul's Unification Ministry said Tuesday that the meeting will discuss ways to carry out peace commitments made during the inter-Korean summit.
During the summit, Pyongyang had pledged to work for a complete denuclearisation of the peninsula, having promised to stop its weapons tests earlier.