United Nations chief welcomes North Korea's closure of nuke test site

Recent satellite imagery shows North Korea has started dismantling facilities at its nuclear test site, according to USA researchers.

Researchers say satellite pictures show several buildings near North Korea's only nuclear test site have been razed. Additionally, according to experts, North Korea has also partially dismantled the rails of the trolleys, which lead from the tunnels.

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. The office reported that the exact date of the ceremony will depend on the weather conditions.

The United States says it is going ahead with plans for the meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

South Korea has said Kim has genuine interest in dealing away his nuclear weapons in return for economic benefits.

"In the end, North Korea will remain "a nuclear power packaged as a non-nuclear state", Thae told the South's Newsis news agency.

Mr. Guterres also expressed hope that progress over shutting down North Korea's nuclear programme would provide an impetus to address other challenges elsewhere in the world.

The newspaper said the Punggye-ri site, situated near Mount Mantap in northeastern North Korea, was "wrecked" beyond fix by a landslide. Kim has already met his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in in April this year in a historic summit where the two leaders signed the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean Peninsula.

It suggested the incident "may" have been the reason for Kim's announcement of a suspension in testing.

The administration of George W. Bush removed North Korea from the list in October 2008 after the country agreed to continue disabling its nuclear plant. Earlier - and much larger - springtime drills, which Washington and Seoul toned down, went off without the North's typically fiery condemnation or accompanying weapons tests.