South Korea hails North's pledge to dismantle N-test site

N. Korea will never fully give up nuclear weapons

North Korea will destroy its nuclear test site later this month, ahead of a summit with the United States, it said, pledging to blow up its tunnels in front of invited foreign media.

"And I look forward to this positive momentum being consolidated at the summit between the leaders of the United States and North Korea", he said in the remarks to reporters after his meeting with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. "Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture!" he tweeted.

Mr Moon said on Monday that the North's decision shows how honest the country is about making the talks a success.

President Donald Trump's national security adviser wants North Korea to ship all of its nuclear weapons to a USA lab in Tennessee, to make sure Kim Jong-un follows through on his promise to dismantle the program.

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The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the worldwide organization that keeps watch for nuclear tests, said it has yet to be invited to observe the dismantlement, Radio Free Asia reported Tuesday. However, Pyongyang has yet to say whether it will give up its nuclear weapons and dismantle related facilities other than Punggye-ri.

The top USA diplomat did not elaborate, but his comment could refer to the type of assurances North Korea has sought in the past.

The meeting between Moon and Kim resulted in few specifics and was largely seen as a prelude to the first-ever U.S.

South Korea has said Kim has genuine interest in dealing away his nuclear weapons in return for economic benefits.

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

"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.

The pictures, taken on 7 May, are "the first definitive evidence that dismantlement of the test site was already well underway", according to a blog post by 38 North, a website run by former U.S. diplomats. But the North's announcement Saturday did not mention anything about inviting experts to Punggy-ri, spawning speculation that the North may want to hide some information about its past nuclear tests.

North Korea's reference to such activity is created to communicate that even without underground testing, the country intends to maintain its nuclear arsenal and be a "responsible" steward of those weapons at the same time, said Andrea Berger, a senior analyst at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

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