North Korea to Hold 'Ceremony' for Dismantling Nuke Test Site

North Korea has taken some recent steps to indicate its willingness to denuclearize, detailing plans to dismantle its nuclear test site in May.

Korea watchers have cautioned that North Korea may have something different in mind than the US when it says it's willing to go down a path of denuclearization.

Contrasting the wealth of South Korea to the poverty and deprivation of the North, Pompeo said the Trump administration is willing to provide assistance to North Korea if Kim meets US demands to forfeit its nuclear weapons.

"Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture!" He has said he is willing to "denuclearize" the Korean peninsula, but it is not clear he means what Washington means.

North Korea for decades has been pushing a concept of "denuclearization" that bears no resemblance to the American definition.

South Korea's Kang shared in Pompeo's optimism and was at pains to insist that there is no daylight between how Washington and Seoul are approaching the talks. Bolton said it is possible that the US could block European companies from doing business in the USA if they continue to do business with Iran. This could satisfy Trump but undermine the alliance between Washington and Seoul.

Kim declared his nuclear forced as complete in December, following the country's most powerful nuclear test to date in September and also three flight tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles created to reach the USA mainland.

At a ruling party meeting last month, North Korea had already announced that it has suspended all tests of nuclear devices and ICBMs and the plan to close the nuclear testing ground.

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In announcing the plan to shut Punggye-ri last month, Kim said North Korea no longer needed to conduct tests because it had completed its goal of developing nuclear weapons. "Inspectors quantify and log North Korea's capabilities".

He said if that happens, the US would allow "private sector Americans. help build out the energy grid that needs enormous amounts of electricity in North Korea".

Since an ad hoc 1953 armistice put an end to active hostilities between the North and the South, South Korea has emerged from devastation to become a leading world economy.

North Korean President, Kim Jong-Un (R) shakes hands with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo in Pyongyang.

In June 2008, worldwide broadcasters were allowed to air the demolishing of a cooling tower at the Nyongbyon reactor site, a year after the North reached an agreement with the USA and four other nations to disable its nuclear facilities in return for an aid package. The U.S. has nearly 30,000 soldiers stationed in the country.

The administration of George W. Bush removed North Korea from the list in October 2008 after the country agreed to continue disabling its nuclear plant.

While President Trump remains optimistic about the chances for a breakthrough, "I don't think he has stars in his eyes over this", National Security Adviser John Bolton said on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

The North went on to conduct its second nuclear test in May 2009.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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