USA ready to offer security assurances to DPRK: Pompeo

USA ready to offer security assurances to DPRK: Pompeo

USA ready to offer security assurances to DPRK: Pompeo

The site was used for each of its six underground nuclear test explosions.

North Korea has begun dismantling the country's only known nuclear test site, according to satellite photos, following through on a promise made by leader Kim Jong-un ahead of his meeting with Donald Trump.

No. A 38 North analysis of satellite images taken May 7 showed that several support buildings outside the northern, western and southern portals had been razed while some mining cart rails had been removed.

Chun, who had also served as a top nuclear envoy for liberal President Roh Moo-hyun, said the Punggye-ri facility is the "perfect place" to gauge North Korea's current nuclear capability - a process crucial for future denuclearization talks.

Kim said during the meeting that the nuclear test site's mission had come "to an end" because the North had completed developing nuclear-capable intermediate-range missiles, ICBMs and other strike means.

Pompeo met previously with Kim while Central Intelligence Agency director, flying secretly to North Korea over the Easter weekend to discuss the possibility of a summit meeting with Trump and negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program. There were reports the site had collapsed and was unusable, but Kim himself reportedly dismissed those claims, saying "we have two more tunnels that are bigger than the existing ones and that they are in good condition".

While North Korea appears to be dismantling its nuclear test site ahead of its first-ever summit with the U.S. next month, doubts persist over whether Pyongyang will uphold its pledge for complete denuclearization, due to the lack of a thorough verification process.

"It is North Korea's diplomatic tactic to push the situation to extreme confrontation and suddenly send peace gestures".

However, analysts say the last five nuclear tests were all conducted using the same tunnel, and that although that tunnel may be damaged beyond fix, the North Koreans could dig others for potential future tests.

The reclusive state also released three U.S. citizens imprisoned in North Korea as newly confirmed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Pyongyang for a second time last week to prepare for Donald Trump's upcoming summit. Guards and researchers will be withdrawn, and the area surrounding the test site will be closed.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that North Korea will receive sanctions relief should they follow through with total denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Pyongyang for decades has been pushing a concept of "denuclearization" that bears no resemblance to the American definition, vowing to pursue nuclear development unless Washington removes its 28,500 troops from South Korea and the nuclear umbrella defending South Korea and Japan.

The two Koreas are due to meet for a high-level meeting on Wednesday to discuss follow-up measures from their summit last month, Seoul's unification ministry said.

Gleason says they now "have been reunited with their families".

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