S. Korean leader praises North's plan to dismantle nuke site

Dr. Martin Kang Joseph Shin

"This may be because on May 12, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced that the final dismantlement of the Punggye-ri nuclear test ground would be witnessed by foreign journalists and would involve the 'collapsing all of its tunnels with explosions, blocking its entrances, and removing all observation facilities, research buildings and security posts, ' " 38 North said. "Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture!" he tweeted.

Moon said Monday that the North's decision shows how honest the country is about making the talks between Kim and Trump a success.

"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".

Pompeo - who recently returned from another set of meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un - said the benefits North Korea can gain by scrapping its nuclear ambitions should be obvious. "The American leadership under President Trump has its eyes wide open".

Kim expects large-scale economic assistance in return for denuclearization and is strongly dissatisfied with the USA stance that it will not provide any form of economic assistance until North Korea achieves complete denuclearization.

"This will be Americans coming in...to help build out the energy grid -- they need enormous amounts of electricity in North Korea; to work with them to develop infrastructure, all the things that the North Korean people need, the capacity for American agriculture to support North Korea so they can eat meat and have healthy lives", he said. But it remains unclear if Kim would ever fully relinquish the weapons he probably views as his only guarantee of survival.

The historic summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un is scheduled in Singapore for June 12.

Bolton has previously made hawkish public comments that supported preemptive U.S. attacks on North Korea to counteract the threat of their nuclear arsenal. The North has vowed to pursue nuclear development unless Washington removes its 28,500 troops from South Korea and the nuclear umbrella defending South Korea and Japan.

Kim said during the meeting that the nuclear test site's mission had come "to an end" because the North had completed developing nuclear-capable intermediate-range missiles, ICBMs and other strike means.

They say a photo of the north portal shows that buildings have been removed, including one that may have been an office.

North Korea has carried out all of its six nuclear tests to date at the Punggye-ri site, starting in 2006 and continuing until the most recent and powerful one in September a year ago.

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