N.Korea announces date for nuclear site closure

U.S. officials offer economic aid security assurances if North Korea eliminates nuclear program

A public ceremony of dismantlement of the North Korean nuclear test ground of Punggye-ri is scheduled for one day between May 23 and May 25, North Korea's KCNA news agency said with reference to the country's Foreign Ministry.

Plans are also in place to block entrances and removing all observation facilities, research buildings and security posts.

The country has also reportedly begun taking "technical measures" to decommission Punggye-ri, and, due to limited space, will allow only journalists from South Korea, the US, the United Kingdom, and Russian Federation to cover its dismantling.

Pompeo also said his talks with Kim on Wednesday were "warm", "constructive", and "good" - and that he made clear that if North Korea gets rid of its nuclear weapons in a permanent and verifiable way, the U.S.is willing to help the impoverished nation boost its economy and living stands to levels like those in prosperous South Korea.

The announcement comes after Trump said he would hold a summit with Kim in Singapore on June 12.

DPRK leader Kim Jong Un, Seoul said, also informed ROK President Moon Jae-in during their talks that his country would allow worldwide observation of the test site's dismantling.

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North Korea has declared its nuclear forces complete late past year after its most powerful nuclear test to date in September and the launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles that experts say are capable of hitting most, if not all, of the continental United States.

Leader Kim Jong Un had revealed plans to shut down the nuclear test site during his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month.

Kim declared his nuclear force as complete in December, following North Korea's most powerful nuclear test to date in September and three flight tests of ICBMs created to reach the US mainland. On April 21, 2018, Pyongyang announced after a key ruling party meeting that it would dismantle the site because it has already completed its nuclear development. These refer to experiments involving a subcritical mass of nuclear materials that allow scientists to examine the performance and safety of weapons without triggering a nuclear chain reaction and explosion. The test ground will be completely closed after the process, KCNA said.

In June 2008, global broadcasters were allowed to air the demolishing of a cooling tower at the Nyongbyon reactor site, a year after the North reached an agreement with the USA and four other nations to disable its nuclear facilities in return for an aid package worth about $400 million.

The move will "ensure transparency of discontinuance of the nuclear test", the statement continued.

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