Vastavam web: South Korean President Moon Jae-in today welcomed North Korea’s announcement that it is set to dismantle its only nuclear test site, calling it a start to the country’s nuclear disarmament.North Korea said Saturday that it will dismantle its northeastern Punggye-ri test site between May 23 and 25 in the presence of local and international media. The dismantling would come before North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump meet for June 12 talks in Singapore expected to focus on Kim’s nuclear program.
Trump, in a tweet Saturday, already thanked North Korea for its plan to dismantle the nuclear test site, calling it “a very smart and gracious gesture!” After months of tensions over his nuclear and missile tests, Kim has been reaching out to Washington and Seoul since the beginning of the year. He sent a delegation to February’s Winter Olympics in South Korea, held a landmark summit with Moon in April and last week released three Americans detained in North Korea.
Moon’s office previously said Kim told Moon during their April 27 summit that he would allow not only outside journalists but also experts to watch the dismantling of the Punggy-ri test site. But the North’s announcement Saturday did not mention anything about inviting experts to Punggy-ri, spawning speculation that the North may want to hide some information about its past nuclear tests.