Senior N.Korean Defector Casts Doubt on 'Cuddly' Kim Jong

US Prisoners from North Korea

North Korea has started dismantling its Punggye-ri nuclear test site, according to satellite pictures analysed by experts.

North Korea has invited eight South Korean journalists to an event showcasing the dismantlement of its nuclear test site scheduled next week.

Not only does North Korea's announcement represent "an initial step towards complete denuclearization" Moon said, but it is also a sign of commitment to the success of the upcoming summit with President Donald Trump, as well as showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is upholding the promises made during the inter-Korean summit in April.

South Korea believes Kim has genuine interest in giving up his nuclear weapons in return for economic benefits.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that North Korea will receive sanctions relief should they follow through with total denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

But both countries have been on charm offensives ahead of the summit June 12 in Singapore between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, the first ever between a sitting United States president and a North Korean leader. Trump called the action "a very smart and gracious gesture!" on Twitter and told reporters that the process "is very important".

North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on May 12 that the country's only known nuclear test site, Punggye-ri, would be dismantled between May 23 and May 25 depending on the weather conditions.

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The move is another notable step in North Korea's diplomatic charm offensive, which comes after a year of constant weapons testing and heated rhetoric between Washington and Pyongyang. North Korea is desperately in need of energy support, electricity for their people they are there in great need of agricultural equipment and technology.

Kim's latest diplomatic overture has seen him hold a summit with the South's President Moon Jae-in and travel twice in less than two months to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The photos from Punggye-ri are consistent with a happy outcome of negotiations, but hardly a guarantee.

The Trump administration argues that it will only negotiate with North Korea "The complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling" of its nuclear program, something that regime has always refused to consider essential to its survival.

North Korea has announced that it will allow United States and other foreign media to observe the process, which is scheduled to take place sometime between May 23rd and the 25th.

Last month, South Korean President Moon Jae-in had asked the United Nations to help verify the shutdown. The southern and western portals could still support detonations, even if the northern side was badly damaged over the five nuclear tests conducted there, 38 North said April 30.

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a nuclear research and storage facility that already holds key components from Libya's nuclear weapons programme.

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