Ahead of the much-anticipated summit with the United States, North Korea on Saturday said that it would destroy its nuclear test site later this month.
In a statement issued by the state media, North Korea's Foreign Ministry said that all of the tunnels at the country's north-eastern testing ground will be destroyed by explosion. They added that the observation and research facilities and ground-based guard units will also be removed.
In its statement, the foreign ministry said, "a ceremony for dismantling the nuclear test ground is now scheduled between May 23 and May 25". The ministry further said that the journalists from United States, South Korea, China, Russia and Britain will be invited to witness the dismantling.
The ministry said that Pyongyang will continue to promote close contacts and dialogue with the neighbouring countries and the international society so as to safeguard peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and over the globe.
The North’s announcement comes days after Washington announced that the historic summit between Kim Jong-Un and US President Donald Trump will be held June 12 in Singapore.
Meanwhile,Trump thanked North Korea after the announcement. Taking to Twitter, the president wrote, "North Korea has announced that they will dismantle Nuclear Test Site this month, ahead of the big Summit Meeting on June 12th.Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture!"
North Korea has announced that they will dismantle Nuclear Test Site this month, ahead of the big Summit Meeting on June 12th. Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2018
Meanwhile, South Korea's presidential Blue House on Sunday hailed North Korea's pledge to dismantle its nuclear test site.
Kim Eui-kyeom, spokesman for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, said in a statement that South Korea welcomed North Korea's announcement on Saturday to hold a ceremony for the dismantling of its nuclear test site from May 23-25.
The spokesman said it was an expression of North Korea's willingness, not with a word but with an act, to keep on promise that Pyongyang made during the inter-Korean summit.
Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met on April 27 in the border village of Panmunjom, at the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ).