North Korea to finish dismantling nuclear test site 'within two weeks'

US to help North Korea's economy if it denuclearizes

Pompeo says US ready to provide N Korea with assurances if it denuclearises

Plans by Kim Jong Un to shut the site down were revealed ahead of his historic summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month.

The display at Punggye-ri, in the northwest of the country, will be another step in leader Kim Jong Un's charm offensive.

But sceptics warn that Pyongyang has yet to make any public commitment to give up its arsenal, which includes missiles capable of reaching the United States.

At the summit in late April, Kim and Moon pledged to work toward the total denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and to sign a peace treaty formally ending the Korean War, which has technically been ongoing since the fighting stopped via an armistice in 1953.

Kim has declared the development of the North's nuclear force complete and that it had no further need for the site.

"A ceremony for dismantling the nuclear test ground is now scheduled between May 23 and 25", depending on weather conditions, the Foreign Ministry's statement said.

The test tunnels would be blown up, blocking their entries, the statement said.

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Given the limited space, only journalists from South Korea, China, Russia, the United States and Britain will be invited to cover the dismantling on-site, the ministry added.

There, reporters will board a charter train to the nuclear test ground in an "uninhabited deep mountain area".

South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha met with her US counterpart, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for the first time on Friday.

But the phrase is a diplomatic euphemism open to interpretation on both sides.

Pompeo added, by "fully", it would mean to ensure Pyongyang doesn't possess the capacity to threaten the US or the world with nuclear weapons.

"Now that North Korea has accepted in principle that agreements should be verified, US negotiators should hold them to this standard for any subsequent agreement", said Adam Mount, a senior defense analyst at the Federation of American Scientists.

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