North Korea to Blow Up Nuclear Test Site It Can't Use Anyway
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Charlie Brown. Lucy. Football.
North Korea says it will blow up the tunnels and dismantle its nuclear test site prior to the Trump-Kim summit later this month
It's a coup for peace! Trump triumphant! Novus ordo seclorum!
Kim had already revealed plans to shut down the test site by the end of May during his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month. Analysts say that while the closure of the site is important, it doesn’t represent a material step toward full denuclearization.
“A ceremony for dismantling the nuclear test ground is now scheduled between May 23 and 25,” depending on weather conditions, the Foreign Ministry’s statement said.
It said the North will invite journalists from the United States, South Korea, China, Russia and Britain to witness the dismantling process.
The journalists will be provided with a charter flight from Beijing to the North Korean coastal city of Wonsan, from where they will travel by train to the test site, the statement said.
The ministry said the North will continue to “promote close contacts and dialogue with the neighboring countries and the international society so as to safeguard peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and over the globe.”
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.
South Korea had no immediate response to the statement.
There's a reason they were closing the test site anyway: it's honeycombed with holes made by nuclear explosions.
Earlier this month, North Korea announced the closure of its nuclear testing site, saying it’s suspending all nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests. The surprise move by President Kim Jong Un may be an attempt to ease relations prior to a summit with Donald Trump, but a new reports suggests the collapse of North Korea’s test facility may have been a contributing factor.
Geologists at the University of Science and Technology of China have presented evidence suggesting the mountain directly above North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site has collapsed, reports the Associated Press. The incident happened following the September 3, 2017 detonation of a nuclear bomb estimated at around 100 kilotons, which is 10 times stronger than any of the previous five tests conducted by North Korea. By comparison, the bomb used at Hiroshima in 1945 produced about 15 kilotons of explosive power.
These findings are consistent with a related study published in Geophysical Research Letters on March 14, 2018. “According to our model, the explosion created a cavity and a damaged ‘chimney’ of rocks above it,” wrote the researchers, who work at China’s Institute of Geophysics in Beijing. The analysis produced by the University of Science and Technology researchers has successfully gone through peer review, and will appear in an upcoming issue of Geophysical Research Letters.