US ready to offer North Korea security assurances, investment: Pompeo

US Prisoners from North Korea

A campaign of diplomacy has allowed tensions to ease on the Korean Peninsula, but they were high throughout much of 2017, fueled by North Korea's missile tests and its advancing nuclear weapons program, as well as USA military exercises and Trump's threatening statements.

But an analysis by 38 North, a North Korea-focused USA website, said commercial imagery taken last week shows that several operational support buildings have been razed and rails for mining carts have apparently been removed.

North Korea has called into question a much-anticipated and unprecedented summit between its leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump, the South's Yonhap news agency reported.

The South Korean government welcomed earlier Pyongyang's plans to dismantle its nuclear test site. He said North Korea's idea of denuclearization is "quite different from the abandonment of nuclear weapons".

Trump is expected to push North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons at the meeting in exchange for the removal of economic sanctions and U.S. assistance in rebuilding Pyongyang's ailing economy.

The North's announcement comes days after Washington announced that the historic summit between Mr Kim and Mr Trump will be held on June 12 in Singapore.

While both the US and South Korea welcomed the move, Japan struck a discordant note.

But the US "will have to provide security assurances to be sure", Pompeo said, without elaborating on details. Analysts say that while the closure of the site is important, it does not represent a material step toward full denuclearisation.

How to trade the Trump-Kim US-North Korea summit
Trump had announced the three men's release on Twitter Wednesday and said they were in "good health". For proof, look at the current state of US views on North Korea and Iran.

A year ago the North conducted its first successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Foreign policy experts have been skeptical of North Korea's sudden willingness to engage in discussions about abandoning its nuclear program, noting that the country has reneged on past promises.

"This exercise.is a flagrant challenge to the Panmunjom Declaration and an intentional military provocation running counter to the positive political development on the Korean Peninsula", the KCNA report said.

The South Korean news agency Yonhap also reported on the threatened cancellation. It was following that trip that Pompeo returned home with three Americans who had been imprisoned in North Korea.

North Korea is threatening to cancel the forthcoming summit with the United States due to ongoing military exercises between America and South Korea, according to reports.

North Korea blew up a cooling tower at the nuclear facility in 2007 following a deal with the United States, but soon restarted the reactor.

In the same report to the Workers' Party of Korea's 7th Central Committee where Kim first acknowledged that Punggye-ri's mission had come to an end, that North Korean leader, for the first time, publicly acknowledged that North Korea had conducted sub-critical nuclear weapons testing.

'We have two more tunnels that are bigger than the existing ones and that they are in good condition, ' he said.

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