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TOKYO — North Korea claimed to have destroyed its nuclear testing site Thursday afternoon, setting off a series of explosions over several hours, apparently to collapse the underground tunnels in which it had detonated six nuclear bombs over the past 11 years.
The fact that the Kim regime went ahead with the destruction of the Punggye-ri nuclear testing site signals that it is still willing to embark on a diplomatic journey with the United States despite the recent ructions.
The article goes on to state the following:
Both Washington and Pyongyang have threatened to cancel a summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un scheduled to be held in Singapore next month. Earlier Thursday, a top aide to Kim said the U.S. must decide whether to “meet us in a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown.”
But later Thursday, the regime appeared to make good on its promise to close the testing site.
Journalists from Russia, China, South Korea, Britain and the United States who had been taken to the site reported a series of explosions there on Thursday afternoon.
“They counted it down — three, two, one,” said Tom Cheshire of Sky News, the British broadcaster, describing one of the detonations, which he witnessed from an observation stand about 500 yards away. “There was a huge explosion, you could feel it. Dust came at you, the heat came at you. It was extremely loud. It blew an observation tower to complete smithereens.”
BREAKING: North Korea carries out what it says is the demolition of its nuclear test site in the presence of foreign journalists.
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 24, 2018
Keep in mind that #NorthKorea took foreign TV crews, not international inspectors, to witness the explosion of tunnels at norther #nuclear test site. They want the media to capture & eventually disseminate the drama of the explosion.
— Jean H. Lee (@newsjean) May 24, 2018
BREAKING: North Korea declares its nuclear test site at Punggye-ri closed, journalists report a “huge explosion” took place and blew an observation tower “to smithereens.” But no images yet. https://t.co/sifh9yZW0e pic.twitter.com/7GUfMzDN6N
— Anna Fifield (@annafifield) May 24, 2018
Reports now coming in from North Korea, confirming an explosion at Punggye-ri nuclear testing site. About 30 foreign journalists witnessed it; no experts were invited to monitor. @NBCNews #NorthKorea https://t.co/l6Rlap35vH
— Janis Mackey Frayer (@janisfrayer) May 24, 2018
— Elise Hu (@elisewho) May 24, 2018
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