The North Korean regime blew up one of their nuclear sites Thursday morning while a number of international reporters stood by and watched. South Korean reporters, however, were not approved for credentials.
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The explosions at the supposed nuclear test site deep in the mountains were centered on three tunnels into the underground site and a number of observation towers in the area.
The planned closing of the Punggye-ri site was previously announced by dictator Kim Jong Un ahead of the planned summit with President Trump that has been slated for June 12. It was seen as a goodwill gesture ahead of the meeting, but still wouldn’t meet U.S. demands for complete denuclearization.
Satellite images obtained by 38 North earlier this month appeared to show the regime demolishing buildings and removing mining carts at the site. A shed and engineering office building at the site’s north portal, where the last five nuclear tests were conducted, were gone in those images.
Meanwhile, North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un issued another threat Wednesday night to cancel the upcoming summit in Singapore with President Trump. The regime is also warning of a nuclear showdown and called Vice President Mike Pence a "dummy."
If the talks are cancelled, [North Korea’s vice foreign minister] Choe Son-hui suggested the two countries could engage in a “nuclear-to-nuclear showdown”.
“Whether the US will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision … of the US,” she said.
“We will neither beg the US for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us.”
President Trump said the summit may be delayed, but has been urging the regime all week to come to the table for the sake of North Korea's future. He also met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House Tuesday.
"We'll see what happens, whether or not it happens. If it does, it will be a great thing for North Korea and if it doesn't, that's okay too. Whatever it is, it is...There are certain conditions we want to happen. I think we'll get those conditions. And if we don't, we won't have the meeting. Frankly, it has the chance to be a great great meeting for North Korea and a great meeting for the world. If it doesn't happen, maybe it will happen later. Maybe it will happen at a different time. We will see. We are talking," Trump said from the Oval Office. "North Korea has a chance to be a great country and it can't be a country under these circumstances they are living right now. I think they should seize the opportunity."