N. Korea to destroy nuclear site ahead of USA summit: KCNA

US to help N. Korea economically if it gets rid of nuclear weapons

North Korea is "taking technical measures" to dismantle its nuclear test site within the next two weeks, according to state media.

"Dismantlement of the nuclear test ground will be done in the following sequence - making all tunnels of the test ground collapse by explosion; completely blocking entries; removing all observation facilities, research institutes and structures of guard units on the ground", the North's Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

One week before the inter-Korean summit on April 27, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced plans to dismantle the nuclear test site.

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Trump, who is more than 15 months into his term of office, hasn't yet nominated a replacement. He said recommendations issued by the since-disbanded U.S.

In a dramatic turnaround after Kim and Trump had traded threats of war and personal insults, the young North Korean leader vowed to pursue denuclearization at a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month.

Given the limited space, only journalists from South Korea, China, Russia, the United States and Britain will be invited to cover the dismantling on-site, the ministry added.

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.

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Experts have said the pledge to dismantle the test site is a big step forward but verifying it will be hard. "It will make it more hard for Kim Jong Un to deny inspections now that he has placed them on the table".

Three US prisoners were returned to Washington by Pyongyang last week, with Trump saying the "denuclearisation of North Korea would be his proudest achievement".

North Korea announced at a ruling party meeting last month that it was suspending all tests of nuclear devices and ICBMs, as well as the plan to close the nuclear testing ground. South Korea, which has played the role of mediator to set up the meeting, has said Kim has genuine interest in relinquishing his nuclear weapons in return for economic benefits. For instance, Kim's father Kim Jong Il invited foreign journalists to watch the destruction of a cooling tower at the Yongbyon reactor, where the North produced plutonium, in the summer of 2008.

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Trump says the time and location of the summit are set. "This is a wonderful thing that he released the folks early", Trump said. He added of the talks between his administration and the North Korean government, "It's never been taken this far".

Dialogue brokered by Seoul has seen US-North Korea relations go from trading personal insults and threats of war past year to a summit between Kim and President Donald Trump due in Singapore on June 12.

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