North Korea to install stands for audience to watch dismantling of nuclear test site

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: May 21, 2018, 11:28 AM IST

File photo of Kim Jong-un. Photograph:(Reuters)

North Korea has now decided to set up stands for viewers to watch the dismantling of its nuclear test site through satellite imagery between Wednesday (May 23) and Friday (May 25). 

Foreign media will be able to witness the process of taking down the nuclear site. On May 18, 38 North had said that additional steps had been taken towards closure of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, possibly including "preparations to build a safe reviewing stand for visitors" to observe the closure of all three Punggye-ri portal areas. 

Reports said that the planned site closure will reportedly involve the "collapsing all of its tunnels with explosions, blocking its entrances, and removing all observation facilities, research buildings, and security posts."

Further, it said that North has been trying to make preparations for the foreign journalists to arrive at the nuclear site at Mount Mantap through trains. 

Ahead of meeting between North Korea leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump in June, North Korea vowed that it would close its nuclear test site and halt nuclear weapons and missile tests.

Quoting the article, Yonhap reported, "The unusual activity observed a week ago, on the hillside near the West Portal, could represent the stockpiling of tunnel timbers and or building materials reclaimed from the ongoing dismantlement effort, but given the exposed hillside location with an unobstructed viewshed, the most likely explanation is that it will form an observation platform to allow journalists to safely view the explosive closure of the North and West Portals."

North Korea, which is believed to have tested six nuclear bombs, has said it will dismantle the Punggye-ri complex - its only known nuclear test site - ahead of a planned meeting in Singapore on June 12 between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

All six of the North's nuclear tests, the latest and by far the most powerful in September last year, which Pyongyang said was an H-bomb, were conducted at the Punggye-ri facility.