Trump welcomes North Korea's decision to dismantle nuclear test site

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North Korea to hold 'ceremony' for dismantling its nuclear test site on May 23-25

United States President Donald Trump lauded North Korea leader Kim Jong-un's decision to dismantle the Nuclear Test Site this month.

North Korea is continuing to make grand gestures ahead of its upcoming summit with the USA and South Korea, announcing on Saturday that it will dismantle its only known nuclear test site, complete with an accompanying ceremony, between May 23 and 25 (depending on the weather). "Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture!", Trump wrote on Twitter.

On Sunday, the South's presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom welcomed the announcement as an expression of the North's intention to carry out its agreement, reached during last month's inter-Korean summit, "not through words but through action".

Kim is also scheduled to meet US President Donald Trump next month.

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

Despite that, China has long opposed any measures that could topple Kim's regime, possibly sending a wave of refugees into its northeast and bringing the prospect of US and South Korean troops on its border.

"All worldwide journalists will be provided with a charter flight into Wonsan, a port city in eastern North Korea, from Beijing, " KCNA said. This could satisfy Trump but undermine the alliance between Washington and Seoul.

North Korea's six known nuclear tests have taken place in Punggye-ri, a location in the northeastern part of North Korea where a system of tunnels has been dug under Mount Mantap.

This would be the first time for North Korea to allow foreign media to visit the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in nation's northeast. It adds that worldwide journalists will be welcomed into the country "to conduct on-the-spot coverage in order to show in a transparent manner the dismantlement of the northern nuclear test ground".

North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs pledged transparency and laid out plans Saturday to dismantle the country's nuclear testing site.

Analysts said the move was positive but limited in its scope. "It will make it more hard for Kim Jong Un to deny inspections now that he has placed them on the table".

The spectacle of the North shuttering and even destroying its nuclear facilities is not new.

The rogue nation will start to take the facility apart on May 23, with global media watching.

Kim is expected to demand that the USA pledge to accept the continuation of North Korea's hereditary regime in return for vowing to achieve denuclearization on the divided peninsula in a "phased" and "synchronized" manner.

The North went on to conduct its second nuclear test in May 2009.

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