We’ve been here before, say cynics of North Korea’s new and seemingly friendly overtures toward the West. Kim Jong-un could be bluffing, hoping to get the U.S. to withdraw a portion if not all of its 25,000-troop garrison in South Korea, leaving that nation at Kim’s mercy.
The cynics are right. There is reason to be skeptical of the North’s true intentions toward its southern neighbor and the U.S. even though a time and date for the historic summit between Kim and President Donald Trump have been set.
So what would mitigate some of the uneasiness felt by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle? Perhaps a gesture such as the North dismantling its nuclear test site. Which is what the rogue nation has just said it will do. From the Mirror:
North Korea … will start to take the facility apart on May 23, with international media watching.
The country’s central news agency said the dismantlement of the nuclear test ground would involve collapsing all of its tunnels with explosions, blocking its entrances and removing all observation facilities, research buildings and security posts.
Journalists from other countries, including the United States and South Korea, will be invited to cover the event.
The dismantling will be just less than three weeks before a much-awaited summit in Singapore between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
Seeing, of course, is still believing. Destroying the state’s nuclear test facility, moreover, is not the same as dismantling its extant nuclear arsenal, especially since North Korea claimed earlier that it had completed its nuclear tests and declared itself armed and ready.
Only time will tell.