Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Korea to receive sanctions relief in exchange for "total" denuclearization

A satellite image of what is believed to be North Korea's nuclear test sight Image A satellite image of what is believed to be North Korea's nuclear test site
Charlie Simmons | 15 May, 2018, 22:33

"Several key operational support buildings, located just outside the North, West and South Portals, have been razed", the report noted, adding that the North appears to have removed some of the rails for mining carts, many of which have been disassembled.

"After initial reporting of plans to allow experts and media personnel to observe the closing of North Korea's Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, now scheduled for next week, commercial satellite imagery from May 7 provided the first definitive evidence that dismantlement of the test site was already well underway", researchers for 38 North wrote in the analysis posted Monday.

- North Korea said Saturday that it will dismantle its nuclear test site in less than two weeks, in a dramatic event that would set up leader Kim Jong Un's summit with President Donald Trump next month.

The move comes amid a major thaw in relations between Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington that witnessed a summit last month between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, where the two agreed in principle to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

The pictures, taken on 7 May, are "the first definitive evidence that dismantlement of the test site was already well underway", according to a blog post by 38 North, a website run by former U.S. diplomats.

"Those are the things that if we get what the president has demanded, the complete, verifiable, irreversible de-nuclearization of North Korea, that the American people will offer in spades".

Pompeo dangled the prospect of a gusher of United States investment in North Korea, with upgrades in energy, infrastructure, technology and agriculture, if a deal is struck.

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"He further quoted a recent statement by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un saying, "(nuclear weapons) are a treasured sword for protecting the peace.

North Korea plans to join worldwide efforts to implement a total ban on nuclear weapons tests, it told the United Nations disarmament body Tuesday, May 15. "Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture!" he tweeted. Pompeo added that Americans will also help invest in North Korean infrastructure and agriculture to help feed its people if the country meets USA demands.

His comments on Sunday mirror what he told reporters at a news conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Friday.

"Every single site that the North Koreans have that can inflict risk on the American people that is destroyed, eliminated, dismantled is good news for the American people and for the world", he said on "Fox News Sunday".

He has also been lobbying both Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in to raise the issue of abducted Japanese citizens during negotiations.

The newspaper said the Punggye-ri site, situated near Mount Mantap in northeastern North Korea, was "wrecked" beyond fix by a landslide.

The Foreign Ministry explained that journalists from Russia, UK, China, the Republic of Korea and the United States will be invited to the ceremony.

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