North Korea to 'invite international experts' to public closing of nuclear test site

Separately, leaders in Pyongyang have pledged to change their time zone to match Seoul

North Korea to 'invite international experts' to public closing of nuclear test site

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (R) and North Korea's Kim Jong Un (L). Picture by: Wang Jingqiang/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

North Korea has agreed to 'publicly' dismantle a nuclear test site next month, South Korea has said.

The announcement comes in the wake of the historic summit between North and South on Friday, during which the leaders of both countries pledged to work towards the 'complete denuclearisation' of the Korean peninsula.

A spokesperson for South Korean President Moon Jae In said today that international experts will be invited to view the closing of the North's test site in Punggye-ri.

Yoon Young Chan explained: "Kim Jong Un agreed during the 2018 Inter-Korean Summit to close the North’s nuclear test site next month.

"To make the dismantling process transparent, he agreed to invite experts and journalists from Korea and the US to the North."

The North Korean leader is quoted as having said: “The US is constitutionally averse to North Korea, but through dialogue, it will become apparent that we have no intention to target South Korea, the Pacific Ocean or the US with nuclear weapons.

"If we are able to build trust with the US through frequent meetings, and promises to end war, and practice a policy of non-aggression, there’s no reason for us to live a hard life with nuclear weapons."

Chinese geologists earlier this week suggested North Korea's main nuclear testing site has collapsed under the stress of five successive bomb tests.

Separately, the South Korean spokesperson announced that North Korea is planning to change their time zone to match the South.

The North is currently half an hour behind its neighbour, and the two different clocks for Seoul and Pyongyang during the summit are said to have 'broken Mr Kim's heart'.

Trump and Kim meeting

The apparent progress made during the summit has received a cautious welcome from world leaders.

Donald Trump again addressed the subject during a campaign rally in Michigan last night - suggesting the planned meeting between himself and the North Korean leader could happen within the next month.

He told supporters: "I think we'll have a meeting over the next three or four weeks. It's going be a very important meeting, the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

"We'll see how it goes... whatever happens, happens. Look, I may go and it may not work out. I leave. I'm not going to be a John Kerry who makes that horrible Iran deal. Horrible."

The extraordinary meeting is due to take place only months after President Trump and Kim Jong Un repeatedly traded threats and insults during a significant escalation of tensions between the two countries.