Published: Wed, May 16, 2018

USA says it's going ahead with North Korea summit plan

USA says it's going ahead with North Korea summit plan

- North Korea said Saturday that it will dismantle its nuclear test site in less than two weeks, in a dramatic event that would set up leader Kim Jong Un's summit with President Donald Trump next month.

"DPRK will join global desires and efforts for a total ban on nuclear tests", North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Han Tae-song said in an address to the Conference on Disarmament, using North Korea's official acronym. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan would not resume normal ties with the country unless North Korea settles the row over the abduction of a dozen Japanese citizens between the 1970s and 1980s.

It comes ahead of a historic US-North Korea summit.

The announcement was welcomed by Washington and Seoul. "Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture!"

The US price for normalization - complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization - is one Pyongyang has never before been willing to pay, seeing nuclear weapons as the ultimate guarantee of the regime's survival.

North Korea announced last week that it will dismantle the site between May 23 and May 25, when the government plans to collapse all of the tunnels, block its entrances, and remove all of the site's facilities, research buildings and security posts.

White House national security adviser John Bolton said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that North Korea's future could be "unbelievably strong" if it follows through on its commitment to denuclearise.

"If North Korea takes bold action to quickly denuclearize, the United States is prepared to work with North Korea to achieve prosperity on the par with our South Korean friends", he said Friday.

"All the things the North Korean people need - [including] the capacity for American agriculture to support North Korea so they can eat meat and have healthy lives", he said. The sixth and most recent test took place in September 2017. "It involves getting an accurate declaration from North Korea of their existing holdings and fissile material and of nuclear weapons".

North Korea's foreign Ministry said the country will continue to 'promote close contacts and dialogue with the neighbouring countries and the worldwide society so as to safeguard peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and over the globe'. "The U.S. doesn't want a gradual dismantling this time, like they did in withdrawing the nuclear deal in Iran". I mean, often these kinds of processes lead up to a presidential-level meeting if they are successful.

Satellite photos from last month showed signs of construction at the North's Yongbyon nuclear facility.

Some in the worldwide community believe Kim's commitment to close Punggye-ri is a welcome development.

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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