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Pyongyang to shut down nuclear testing site in May, South Korea says

Seoul, Apr 29 (EFE).- North Korea will close its atomic test center at Punggye-ri in May, the South Korean government said on Sunday.

The announcement comes in the wake of a denuclearization agreement reached at the inter-Korean summit, held on Friday at the Demilitarized Zone on the border between North and South Korea.

Pyongyang said it would shut the nuclear test site after the two countries committed to the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula during the meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, according to a South Korean presidential spokesperson.

Kim said he would invite nuclear technicians, experts and reporters to attend the closing of the atomic testing center at Punggye-ri, Seoul said.

There had been speculation that the site was irreparably damaged during the latest nuclear test in Sep. 2017, the sixth and most powerful ever carried out in North Korea, although Kim had told Moon during their meeting on Friday that it remained operational, South Korea said.

“Some say that we are terminating facilities that are not functioning, but you will see that we have two more tunnels that are bigger than the existing ones and that they are in good condition”, Kim reportedly said.

The presidential spokesman also relayed Kim Jong-un’s claim that he was “not the kind of person who fires nukes at South Korea, the Pacific or America”.

“Why would we keep nuclear weapons and live in a difficult condition if we often meet with Americans to build trust and they promise us to end the war and not to invade us?”, Kim added, as quoted by Yoon Young-chan.

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