NORTH KOREA (CBSMiami) — About two dozen reporters from the U.S., Britain, China and Russia have arrived in North Korea to witness the planned dismantling of the country’s nuclear test site. CBS News is the only U.S. broadcast network in that group.
The reporters expect to travel Wednesday from Wonsan up into the mountains on a 12-hour train ride to witness the dismantlement of the remote Punggye-ri site.
The highly publicized dismantling of the plant, and the invites to foreign journalists to witness it, comes as North Korea lashes out at the U.S. and South Korea over long-scheduled joint military exercises, and at the U.S. for taking credit for the diplomatic breakthrough.
Remarks by senior members of the Trump administration about how any theoretical denuclearization of North Korea could play out also angered the Kim regime last week.
A new North Korean state media commentary out Tuesday morning reads in part: “dialogue and saber-rattling can never go together” and will “chill the atmosphere” before the planned June 12 summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
There has been skepticism that Kim Jong Un is actually willing to give up his country’s nuclear weapons program, and speculation that the dismantling of Punggye-ri was an inevitable outcome regardless of the diplomatic process with the United States.
In late April, scientists said it appeared very likely that previous nuclear tests there had caused a mountain over the site to collapse, rendering it useless.