Some very good news is being reported out of North Korea. After successful discussions with Trump’s new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and an upcoming planned meeting with President Trump, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is taking steps to show the public he is sincere about dismantling his nuclear program.
Fox News is reporting that North Korea has scheduled a “ceremony” to dismantle its nuclear testing site on May 23-25 ahead of President Donald Trump’s summit with leader Kim Jong Un next month.
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said Saturday that all the tunnels at the country’s northeastern testing ground will be destroyed by explosion and that observation and research facilities and ground-based testing units will also be removed. The dramatic and symbolic event is part of the Hermit Kingdom’s pledge to discontinue nuclear tests.
“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.
Analysts say the closure of the site is mostly symbolic and doesn’t represent a material step toward denuclearization.
The announcement comes after Trump said he would hold a summit with Kim in Singapore on June 12. It will be the first meeting ever between a sitting U.S. president and the leader of North Korea.
Kim had revealed plans to shut down the nuclear test site during his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month.
Following the Moon-Kim summit, Moon’s office said Kim was willing to disclose the process to international experts, but the North’s statement Saturday didn’t include any mention about allowing experts on the site.
On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said North Korea can look forward to “a future brimming with peace and prosperity” if it agrees to quickly give up its nuclear weapons.
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.
Still, the closure of the site could be a useful precedent for Washington and Seoul as they proceed with the nuclear negotiations with Pyongyang, analysts say.
In September, 2017, after President Trump referred to North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man”, referencing several attempts by the rogue leader to threaten neighboring nations, as well as the United States with a nuclear attack.
Hillary Clinton, who was, at the time, still attempting to behave as though she was the defacto president, emerged from her pity party just long enough to criticize President Trump’s style, accsuing him of trying to start conflict. She offered the following advice to the president:
“You should try to lead with diplomacy,” she said. “You should lead with the commitment of trying to avoid conflict however you can.”
Trump resonded to Hillary’s advice with a tweet, telling her, “After allowing North Korea to research and build Nukes while Secretary of State (Bill C also), Crooked Hillary now criticizes.
After allowing North Korea to research and build Nukes while Secretary of State (Bill C also), Crooked Hillary now criticizes.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2017