North Korea Destroys Nuclear Test Site After Trump Cancels Summit


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made good on his promise to demolish his country’s nuclear test site, which was formally closed in a series of huge explosions as a group of foreign journalists looked on.

The explosions at the test site deep in the mountains of the North’s sparsely populated north east were supposed to build confidence ahead of a planned summit next month between Mr Kim and US President Donald Trump. But Mr Trump cancelled the meeting on Thursday, citing ‘tremendous anger and open hostility’ in a North Korean statement released earlier in the day.

The blasts were centred on three tunnels at the underground site and a number of buildings in the surrounding area. North Korea held a closing ceremony afterwards, with officials from its nuclear arms programme in attendance.

North Korea’s state media called the closure of the site part of a process to build ‘a nuclear-free, peaceful world’ and ‘global nuclear disarmament’.

North Korea’s decision to close the Punggye-ri nuclear test site had generally been seen as a welcome gesture by Mr Kim to set a positive tone ahead of the summit. In a statement earlier on Thursday, South Korea’s National Security Council called the closing the North’s ‘first measure towards complete denuclearisation’.



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