North Korea plans to dismantle nuclear test sites by end of May

SEOUL ― North Korea has scheduled the dismantlement of its nuclear test site for sometime between May 23 and 25 depending on weather conditions in order to uphold its previous pledge to discontinue nuclear tests, state media reported on Saturday.

The country’s central news agency said the dismantlement of the nuclear test ground would involve collapsing all of its tunnels with explosions, blocking its entrances and removing all observation facilities, research buildings and security posts.

“The Nuclear Weapon Institute and other concerned institutions are taking technical measures for dismantling the northern nuclear test ground of the DPRK in order to ensure transparency of discontinuance of the nuclear test,” said the announcement. DPRK is an acronym for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

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Tourism along the North Korea China border
A North Korean woman is photographed from the Chinese side of the border north of Dandong, China as she walks on the banks of the Yalu River just north of Sinuiju, North Korea, November 19, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Women, photographed from the Chinese side of the border, are seen through binoculars fixed on a building on the Chinese side of the border for sightseers to look across to North Korea, as they cross the bridge from Namyang in North Korea towards the town of Tumen in China, November 24, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Korean fishermen are seen as a Chinese flag flutters from the Broken Bridge as the sun sets over the Yalu River between the North Korean town of Sinuiju and Dandong in Liaoning Province, China, November 19, 2017. In the Chinese city of Dandong, signs of neighbouring North Korea are pervasive. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
North Korean souvenirs are displayed for sale on the banks of the Yalu River in Dandong in Liaoning province, China, November 19, 2017. In the Chinese city of Dandong, signs of neighbouring North Korea are pervasive. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
North Koreans are photographed from the Chinese side of the border as they stand in the freezing Yalu River near the town of Linjiang, China, November 22, 2017. On a road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea, reporters found a group of North Koreans diving in the Yalu river who the Chinese locals said were searching for gold. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
North Koreans are photographed from the Chinese side of the border as they stand in the freezing Yalu River near the town of Linjiang, China, November 22, 2017. On a road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea, reporters found a group of North Koreans diving in the Yalu river who the Chinese locals said were searching for gold. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Women walk across a bridge from an island on the Yalu River, dividing North Korea and China, in the town of Linjiang in Jilin province, China. November 21, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea revealed stark contrasts between China's bright towns and North Korea's dark villages. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Women participate in a group dance exercise close to the Yalu River which runs between China and North Korea, in the town of Linjiang in Jilin province, China, November 21, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea revealed stark contrasts between China's bright towns and North Korea's dark villages. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Chinese fishermen manoeuvre small boats close to the North Korean side of the Yalu River near Dandong, Liaoning province, China, November 20, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea showed places where it is porous. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A piece of clothing is used to make a gap in barbed wire near the closed bridge over the Yalu River on the Chinese side of the border with North Korea between towns of Ji'an and Linjiang, China, November 21, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea showed places where it is porous. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A North Korean soldier and locals are photographed from the Chinese side of the border north of Dandong, China as they stand on the banks of the Yalu River, north of Sinuiju, North Korea, November 19, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea revealed stark contrasts between China's bright towns and North Korea's dark villages. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A tourist uses binoculars to look across to North Korea from a tower built on the Chinese side of the border between Russia (L), China (C) and North Korea (R) near the town of Hunchun in China, November 24, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
People have their picture taken with North Korea in the background, in Tumen, China, November 25, 2017. In the Chinese city of Dandong, signs of neighbouring North Korea are pervasive. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Policemen control a check point after preventing Reuters reporters from driving through, near the border of China and North Korea, just outside the village of Sanhe, China, November 25, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A ferris wheel, photographed from the Chinese side of the border across the Yalu River from Dandong in Liaoning Province, China is seen near the town of Sinuiju in North Korea, November 19, 2017. In the Chinese city of Dandong, signs of neighbouring North Korea are pervasive. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Koreans are photographed from the Chinese side of the border as they stand next to the freezing Yalu River near the town of Linjiang, China, November 22, 2017. On a road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea, reporters found a group of North Koreans diving in the Yalu river who the Chinese locals said were searching for gold. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
North Koreans are photographed from the Chinese side of the border as they stand in the freezing Yalu River near the town of Linjiang, China, November 22, 2017. On a road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea, reporters found a group of North Koreans diving in the Yalu river who the Chinese locals said were searching for gold. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Koreans are photographed from the Chinese side of the border as they stand in the freezing Yalu River near the town of Linjiang, China, November 22, 2017. On a road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea, reporters found a group of North Koreans diving in the Yalu river who the Chinese locals said were searching for gold. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A sign reading, "Take the initiative to preserve order along the border," stands in a field at the border between China and North Korea just outside Dandong, Liaoning province, China, November 19, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea showed places where it is porous. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A large screen, which faces North Korea, broadcasts propaganda videos on an island on the Yalu River between North Korea and China, in the town of Linjiang in Jilin province, China, November 21, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea revealed stark contrasts between China's bright towns and North Korea's dark villages. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
North Koreans are photographed from the Chinese side of the border as they stand in the freezing Yalu River near the town of Linjiang, China, November 22, 2017. On a road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea, reporters found a group of North Koreans diving in the Yalu river who the Chinese locals said were searching for gold. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Women, photographed from the Chinese side of the border, are seen from a viewing point used by tourists to look into North Korea, as they cross the bridge from Namyang in North Korea towards the town of Tumen in China, November 24, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea showed places where it is porous. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
North Koreans are photographed from the Chinese side of the border as they stand next to the freezing Yalu River near the town of Linjiang, China, November 22, 2017. On a road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea, reporters found a group of North Koreans diving in the Yalu river who the Chinese locals said were searching for gold. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A man looks through binoculars towards North Korea on the Broken Bridge over the Yalu River that connects the North Korean town of Sinuiju and Dandong in Liaoning Province, China, November 19, 2017. In the Chinese city of Dandong, signs of neighbouring North Korea are pervasive. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A North Korean man is photographed from the Chinese side of the border near the town of Changbai, China as he rides a bicycle along the Yalu River in the North Korean town of Hyesan, November 23, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea showed places where it is porous. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Korean girls are photographed from the Chinese side of the border as they collect water from the frozen Yalu River near Linjiang, China, November 22, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea revealed stark contrasts between China's bright towns and North Korea's dark villages. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A North Korean border guard is photographed from the Chinese side of the border near the town of Changbai, China as he stands on the banks of the Yalu River, near the North Korean town of Hyesan, November 23, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea showed places where it is porous. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Chinese men fish as a watchtower stands on the North Korean side of the Yalu River, just north of Dandong in Liaoning province, China, November 20, 2017. In the Chinese city of Dandong, signs of neighbouring North Korea are pervasive. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A couple prepare for a wedding photography session on a boat which takes tourists on sightseeing tours from the Chinese side of the Yalu River, close to the shores of North Korea, near Dandong, Liaoning province, China, November 20, 2017. In the Chinese city of Dandong, signs of neighbouring North Korea are pervasive. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
North Koreans are photographed from the Chinese side of the border south of Changbai in China as they make their way through a small village south of Hyesan in North Korea, November 22, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Chinese men fish as a watchtower stands on the North Korean side of the Yalu River, just north of Dandong in Liaoning province, China, November 20, 2017. In the Chinese city of Dandong, signs of neighbouring North Korea are pervasive. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A North Korean border guard is photographed from the Chinese side of the border near the town of Changbai, China as he stands on the banks of the Yalu River, near the North Korean town of Hyesan, November 23, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea showed places where it is porous. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A man takes pictures of himself with North Korea and the remains of a bridge in the background, just north of Dandong in Liaoning province, China, November 19, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea showed places where it is porous. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Tourists travel on a boat taking them from the Chinese side of the Yalu River for sightseeing close to the shores of North Korea, near Dandong, Liaoning province, China, November 19, 2017. In the Chinese city of Dandong, signs of neighbouring North Korea are pervasive. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A man walks alongside the Yalu River which runs between North Korea and China, in the town on Linjiang in Jilin province, China, November 21, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea revealed stark contrasts between China's bright towns and North Korea's dark villages. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "SAGOLJ ROAD TRIP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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The announcement comes after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would hold a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12. It will be the first meeting ever between a sitting U.S. president and the leader of North Korea.

It follows a flurry of international engagement with North Korea as the two Koreas held their own summit in late April and officials plan to hold high-level meetings in coming weeks.

Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday North Korea can look forward to “a future brimming with peace and prosperity” if it agrees to quickly give up its nuclear weapons.

Officials in Seoul had said in April that North Korea planned to invite experts and journalists from the United States and South Korea for the shutdown of its test site.

North Korea said journalists from other countries, including the United States and South Korea, will be invited to cover the event, to “show in a transparent manner the dismantlement of the northern nuclear test ground to be carried out”.

In order to accommodate the traveling journalists, North Korea said various measures would be taken including “opening territorial airspace”.

All international journalists will be provided with a charter flight into Wonsan, a port city in eastern North Korea, from Beijing, KCNA said. There, reporters will board a charter train to the nuclear test ground in an “uninhabited deep mountain area”.

North Korea’s six known nuclear tests have taken place in Punggye-ri, a location in the northeastern part of North Korea where a system of tunnels have been dug under Mount Mantap.

Experts have said the pledge to dismantle the test site is a big step forward but verifying it will be difficult.

Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Alexander Smith

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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