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Trump Thanks North Korea For 'Gracious' Pledge To Destroy Nuclear Site

13 May 2018
Trump Thanks North Korea For 'Gracious' Pledge To Destroy Nuclear Site

Trump welcomed the "gracious gesture.' In a statement carried by state media, North Korea's Foreign Ministry said all of the tunnels at the country's northeastern testing ground will be destroyed by explosion, and observation and research facilities and ground-based guard units will also be removed". Guards and researchers will be withdrawn, and the area surrounding the test site will be closed.

The isolated Asian nation, which had already pledged to begin dismantling the site this month, will invite journalists from China, Russia, the USA, the United Kingdom and South Korea to cover the event, KCNA said in the statement. Trump and Kim are scheduled to meet in Singapore on June 12.

The move, coupled with North Korea's promise to soften restrictions on foreign journalists, is the latest sign of goodwill from Pyongyang. In another sign of improving relations, North Korea this week released three US citizens who had been imprisoned in the country.

South Korea's presidential office said last month that Kim planned to shut down his nuclear test site in May, following landmark talks between Kim and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in.

For now, however, Kim appears to be on a diplomatic offensive, offering concessions many thought he would try to use as bargaining chips at the meeting with Trump, including the prisoner release and decommissioning the test site.

In November, North Korea boasted that it had developed a missile capable of striking the whole United States mainland.

They will be taken to the guarded state via a charter flight from Beijing to the coastal city of Wonsan in North Korea. However, in spite of its pledge to stop testing, North Korea has given no indication it is willing to go beyond statements of broad conceptual support for denuclearization by unilaterally abandoning a nuclear weapons program its ruling family has seen as crucial to its survival.

Pompeo has visited North Korea twice in the last six weeks in order to attend negotiations regarding the Trump-Kim meeting. Trump said in a Twitter posting.

"We are starting off on a new footing - I really think we have a very good chance of doing something very meaningful". "I really think he (Kim) wants to do something to bring that country back into the real world".