Did North Korea Fake the Demolition of its Underground Nuclear Test Site?
Sunday 03/June/2018 - 12:10 PM
"Slate" magazine- By " DANIEL POLITI":
When North Korea blew up its nuclear test site at Punggye-ri last month it was supposed to be a goodwill gesture that would highlight Pyongyang’s willingness to negotiate with the United States. At the time، some warned the move was symbolic anyway because the nuclear test site may have run its course and may no longer have been usable. Now CNN is reporting analysts are saying the whole thing may have been even more symbolic than that and the explosion was likely all a charade for the invited foreign journalists.
Many were already skeptical considering North Korea invited foreign journalists to witnesss the supposed destruction of the nuclear test site but not weapons experts. We may now know why as analysts say the explosions appeared to be a tad small to actually have destroyed the site. “The fact that journalists were reportedly only around 500 meters from the explosions is a good indication that these were small blasts،” an official told CNN. “And the amount of dust leads us to believe that they were quite superficial.” U.S. intelligence analysts also appears to back up this skepticism، notes CNN. Preliminary studies suggest the explosions were not strong enough to actually destroy the underground tunnels.
As Trump made official Friday that the June 12 Singapore summit is back on schedule، the president also seems willing to accept the path to denuclearization may be longer than he initially predicted. “June 12th، we’ll be in Singapore،” Trump said after meeting with Kim Yong-chol، the highest-ranking Pyongyang official to visit the White House in 18 years. “It will be a beginning. I don’t say and I’ve never said it happens in one meeting. You’re talking about years of hostility; years of problems; years of، really، hatred between so many different nations. But I think you’re going to have a very positive result in the end.” For now the U.S. intelligence community seems to believe that while Pyongyang may agree to give up some weapons as part of its negotiations with the United States، it is unlikely it will agree to destroy everything.