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North Korea Announces Plans To Dismantle Nuclear test Site (npr.org) 98

The Associated Press is reporting North Korea has announced plans to dismantle its nuclear test site between May 23 and 25. The dismantling will occur before President Trump is scheduled to meet with Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12. NPR reports: Reuters reports that Punggye-ri nuclear test site has been the location of all of North Korea's six known nuclear tests. At the site, there's a system of tunnels under the mountain Mount Mantap. Journalists from the United States, South Korea, China, Russia and Britain will be invited to watch a special ceremony in which all of the tunnels at the testing ground will be destroyed and observation and research facilities and guard units will be taken down. The North Korean government will provide journalists with a charter flight from Beijing to Wosnan, North Korea. From there, a train will take them to the test site in the northeast part of the country.

The AP also reports that at a ruling party meeting last month, North Korea announced the plan to close the nuclear testing ground, along with a commitment to suspend all tests of nuclear devices and ICBMs. At that same meeting, however, North Korea said it has been performing a kind of nuclear test classified as "subcritical." The "subcritical" experiments give scientists an opportunity to test weapons without causing an actual nuclear chain reaction and explosion.

North Korea Announces Plans To Dismantle Nuclear test Site

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  • "Dismantled?" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Saturday May 12, 2018 @04:24PM (#56601526)
    Wasn't their test site already "dismantled" by a massive tunnel collapse?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      One tunnel collapsed after a test.

      They did not store the entirety of their nuclear weapons program in a tunnel at the test site, if that's the retarded thing you were suggesting.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They blew the top off the mountain and it began venting fission products over China.

      China told them "yo, knock it the f*** off. or we're gonna have Serious Problems"

      • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr AT mac DOT com> on Saturday May 12, 2018 @04:46PM (#56601584) Journal

        Decades from now, I hope that some Chinese official lets us know in his memoirs just how close Kim Fat Ass came to getting a PRC bullet to the head.

        -jcr

        • The most definitive memoir will be Xi Jinping. Those will be quite an interesting read, now that he is ruler for life of China.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by hdyoung ( 5182939 )
            Xi Jinping's memoirs will probably be fairly uninteresting, for three reasons.

            First, he inherited his leadership position. Actually, this whole generation of Chinese leaders are called "princelings" because their fathers were leaders. None of them earned their title through any sort of true merit.

            Second, nothing that he's said or written has indicated any sort of really novel thinking. His famous "socialism with Chinese characteristics" that makes up the basis of his writings basically amounts to a fo
        • Decades from now, I hope that some Chinese official lets us know in his memoirs just how close Kim Fat Ass came to getting a PRC bullet to the head.

          Rumor is that Kim had his uncle, Jang Song-thaek [wikipedia.org], executed in order to head off a Chinese sponsored palace coup. Jang was widely seen as "China's guy" within the NK government. China was upset about Jang's execution, but Kim sent them a very clear message that he was not going to be pushed around.

      • Is there anything Anonymous Cowards don't know?
    • Re:"Dismantled?" (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DoktorMidnight ( 3469647 ) on Saturday May 12, 2018 @05:34PM (#56601738)

      Wasn't their test site already "dismantled" by a massive tunnel collapse?

      It is actually a little annoying that while the scientific and anti-proliferation communities/groups have been discussing what has happened to the testing site, you may only find a bare hint of that discussion in the regular news. But, as one commentator here has pointed out, if we all just close our eyes and pretend that the DPRK didn't shift an entire mountain on accident and create a potentially massive environmental disaster in its backyard, then it might help facilitate the peace process. Face gets saved, and actions of desperate necessity become grande gestures of peace. All the important people can get Nobel Peace prizes and feel good about themselves.

      Welcome to Diplomacy 101, where you don't have to feel good about what you did as long as the results are acceptable.

    • by zioncat ( 632849 )

      Wasn't their test site already "dismantled" by a massive tunnel collapse?

      No, North Korea's Nuclear test Site Wasn't Destroyed in an Earthquake [nationalinterest.org]

      "The reporting has been mostly hot garbage," Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, tweeted after reviewing satellite imagery of the 7,200-foot Mount Mantap, where North Korea's Punggye-ri test site is located.

  • North Korea has announced plans to dismantle its nuclear test site between May 23 and 25.

    Just wait. Western nations are going take credit for this development; yet the North Korean leadership has stated that there's no need to test anymore as they've "mastered" how to place nuclear war heads onto ballistic missiles.

    This means there's no further need for "testing."

    • by Anonymous Coward

      North Korea has announced plans to dismantle its nuclear test site between May 23 and 25.

      Just wait. Western nations are going take credit for this development; yet the North Korean leadership has stated that there's no need to test anymore as they've "mastered" how to place nuclear war heads onto ballistic missiles.

      This means there's no further need for "testing."

      Even the US and Russians want to continue testing since there's always more to learn. If you go assuming every Trump thing is bullshit without checking the evidence you will end up being discredited. Instead you should look at b0s0z0ku's comment [slashdot.org], which shows that you were right - this is bullshit propaganda - but for different reasons. The test site has collapsed and is unusable so dismantling it is the right thing. What's scary is that this was reported just a couple of weeks ago. The assumption seems

      • by Anonymous Coward

        If anything got reported, it was speculation that was reported and maybe "simplified" circular reporting of that speculation. A test chamber collapsed, because there was a frigging thermonuclear explosion in there. This means this particular place is definitely ruined. You might dig in there again and detonate a nuke again and it would be a very bad idea. But there's a bit more room than that and there are *other* tunnels that are ready, one of which the West one was actually maintained so that a test can h

      • by murdocj ( 543661 )

        Once NK has a credible threat to deliver a nuke on target to the USA, they really don't have to "learn" anymore. It's not like they are going to first strike and take out the USA's retaliatory capability. All they need is a credible threat, which is what they've got now.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 12, 2018 @04:40PM (#56601568)

      The South Korean president and Foreign Minister both said that Trump was the primary reason for NK's capitulation.

      Lots of things are spin in this day and age, but sometimes there's an actual fact that gets out. You can still hate Trump and also appreciate that he might have ended the Korean War by shitposting on Twitter.

      • The South Korean president and Foreign Minister both said that Trump was the primary reason for NK's capitulation.

        But how would they know? That's just pure conjecture.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          It is amusing that the South Korean leadership (who are directly talking with Kim) is giving Trump credit for ending the Korean War, and you are saying they don't know what they are talking about, yet somehow you do.

      • The South Korean president and Foreign Minister both said that Trump was the primary reason for NK's capitulation.

        That's because Trump nicely asked them to say it. And the president later remarked something to the effect of that if Trump wants the praise, he can have it, they want only peace.

        • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Saturday May 12, 2018 @06:12PM (#56601844) Journal

          I believe asking nicely is what Obama did. Nice fellow, Obama.

          I don't know how much Trump had to do with this.

          Remember North Korea is smaller than Hewlett-Packard, they the US could easily destroy NK; we don't mostly because of politics. I know that if *I* were Kim Jong-un, and that wacky Trump dude were threatening to nuke my country, pointing out his big nuclear button, that would make me a bit more nervous than Obma's approach did. Trump seems like the kind of guy who just might decide, against the advice of his advisers, to go ahead and send a flight of three B-52s loaded up with 60 cruise missiles to go ahead and eliminate most of the major buildings in North Korea.

          Keep in mind, North Korea has much less industry (gdp) than Birmingham, Alabama; Jacksonville; or Memphis.
          It would be easy for Trump to just wake up one morning and decide "I'm tired of little Rocket Man. Let's blow up North Korea today and be done with it". It might not be a GOOD idea, but it would be easy for the US to do. Trump just might do something that Obama and Bush wouldn't do.

          It may be that Trump asked nicely AFTER he grabbed them by the crotch. That's more Trump's MO, just asking nicely isn't really his thing - even when he should.

          Without knowing, I can only listen to what the people who are in a better position to know have to say.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            They have no GDP but they have a number of virtually unpaid military conscripts that they use for building stuff, who work in the fields (e.g. harvest), prisoners too, and women are like caricatural 1950s' American wives too. What little Potemkin socialism they actually do (like building a catfish farm or something) doesn't really directly generate GDP, since they may allocate labor and resources directly. Then fish may be sold (GDP) or just taken away for use by the military (no GDP).

            That said, they really

          • I don't know how much Trump had to do with this.

            I'm merely referring to this. [washingtonpost.com]. Your "people who are in a better position to know" are mentioned there as well.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            go ahead and send a flight of three B-52s loaded up with 60 cruise missiles to go ahead and eliminate most of the major buildings in North Korea.
            Was tried before ... no idea why you proclaim such barbaric actions. Are you a barbarian?

            When Hideoshi Toyotomi left Korea in 1598 with his troops, he ordered them to destroy all stone buildings they passed.

            Sorry, mad pigs like you, who demand bombing another country back into the stone age, are not better than The Kim family, or Pol Pot and should be euthanized fo

            • Off topic a bit, I'm just curious where you're from. We've talked on here quite bit over the years. Anyway, to respond to your questions and comments:

              I said:
              >> that wacky Trump dude were threatening to nuke my country, pointing out his big nuclear button, that would make me a bit more nervous than Obama's approach did. Trump seems like the kind of guy who just might decide, against the advice of his advisers, to go ahead and send a flight of three B-52s ...
              >> It might not be a good idea

              You ask

      • by murdocj ( 543661 )

        So far, all we've got is NK is talking and they aren't currently testing. They've been dying to have direct talks with the USA for decades, and trump is giving them that, basically for free. Let's save the "NK capitulation" talk for when they actually capitulate.

      • If Obamacare would have ended a 60 year war by shitposting on Twitter he would have been given another Nobel peace prize and weâ(TM)d never hear the end of how much of a genius he was.

    • Never underestimate the effect of Fox News and the millions who listen to Rush, Hanity, and others on Facebook and AM radio.

      Fox is the number one watched infonews station and it impacts people's views

    • If this opportunity for opening channels of communication and cool, calm, collected negotiation is here, why not take it? If managed well by all sides, many more good things can come of it? Who thinks that nuclear armed countries spending time together, talking about non-proliferation isn't a good thing?
    • This means there's no further need for "testing."

      If the North Korean leadership thinks that, then they know less about nuclear weapons than they think they do. A LOT less....

  • In fact, this very site has already had tests suspended indefinitely, likely because a mountain fell on it [scmp.com]. From the article:

    "The breakdown not only took off part of the mountain’s summit but also created a “chimney” that could allow fallout to rise from the blast centre into the air"

    So, um good job Kim, taking a desperate attempt at mitigating a massive environmental disaster that could have blanketed half a hemisphere in radioactive fallout and trying to parlay it into a gesture of goodw

    • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

      So, um good job Kim, taking a desperate attempt at mitigating a massive environmental disaster that could have blanketed half a hemisphere in radioactive fallout and trying to parlay it into a gesture of goodwill?

      Well, why wouldn't he? He's got nothing to lose by doing so, and by playing to Trump's ego he might better be able to manipulate him.

      • by gtall ( 79522 )

        Imagine Trump playing poker...bwahahahahaha....Art of the Deal my ass. Kim will own him.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        So, um good job Kim, taking a desperate attempt at mitigating a massive environmental disaster that could have blanketed half a hemisphere in radioactive fallout and trying to parlay it into a gesture of goodwill?

        Well, why wouldn't he? He's got nothing to lose by doing so, and by playing to Trump's ego he might better be able to manipulate him.

        Its amazing how much it bothers people that Trump appears to be close to possible accomplishing something that didn't seem possible during the last administration. They'll find any reason they can to not give any credit at all to the hard line that Trump put in place, with much more effective sanctions than Obama or previous presidents could muster.

      • It's obvious what's going to happen. Ten years of building a new test facility, meanwhile cashing in on an economic cash influx from relaxing sanctions.

    • Exit ramp (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Saturday May 12, 2018 @04:44PM (#56601580) Homepage Journal

      In fact, this very site has already had tests suspended indefinitely, likely because a mountain fell on it [scmp.com]. From the article:

      "The breakdown not only took off part of the mountain’s summit but also created a “chimney” that could allow fallout to rise from the blast centre into the air"

      So, um good job Kim, taking a desperate attempt at mitigating a massive environmental disaster that could have blanketed half a hemisphere in radioactive fallout and trying to parlay it into a gesture of goodwill?

      One potential problem with Korean negotiations is the optics, and the tendency of people to dislike being proven wrong, losing face, and being shown as disingenuous or hypocritical.

      We could help the process along by giving Kim the widest exit-ramp from his situation. We don't have to be the sore, arrogant winners here.

      So let's suppose that the existing test site was partially destroyed by the collapse, and still held significant development capability. We don't know that this is *not* true.

      If the rest of the world were to take the positive view and assume the best, then this is Kim making a real effort to promote peace between the two nations.

      A highly respectable gesture, and offered before negotiations.

      Actually, that sounds 'kinda classy when you think about it.

      • It's worth mentioning that for all Trump's faults, he does have skill in making deals, so he may be OK in this situation (and for those people who say he made deals with people then later ripped them off by going into bankruptcy, in that case he was good at convincing people to get into a deal, even if it was bad for them. ) The follow-up may have trouble, but when it comes to making a deal, that is a skill he has. You might even say that persuasion and deal making are the essential skills for any huckster.
    • Re:Very Old News... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by isdnip ( 49656 ) on Saturday May 12, 2018 @06:26PM (#56601894)

      The most interesting account I saw was from, of all things, a Pakistani newspaper. It said that the test set off an earthquake. It caused a tunnel to collapse... with about 100 people in it. They may have been many of NK's nuclear scientists. And when they sent people in to try to rescue them, another collapse took out another hundred or so people. So the site is entirely unusable, and they may have lost many of their nuclear scientists in the process.

      I guess they had enough physicists but not enough geologists.

  • by RandomFactor ( 22447 ) on Saturday May 12, 2018 @04:35PM (#56601556)

    Punggye-ri may not even be usable at this point. http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Punggye-ri+collapse [lmgtfy.com]

    Awfully nice of them to offer to decommission it at this point :-p

    This is a purely symbolic gesture to improve their optics.

  • by hduff ( 570443 ) <hoytduff@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Saturday May 12, 2018 @05:15PM (#56601686) Homepage Journal

    Well played, North Korea. Well played . . .

  • ... because they don't need no more steenkin' tests.

    • by drnb ( 2434720 )

      ... because they don't need no more steenkin' tests.

      Actually because the mountain has collapsed upon their underground testing facilities, they can't test anymore.

  • .....trust that little fucker. At all.
  • by Humbubba ( 2443838 ) on Saturday May 12, 2018 @08:05PM (#56602048)
    Scientists are certain that the last detonation at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site vaporized a vast chamber of rock more than a quarter mile below Mount Mantap's summit, and created a chimney-like structure that could leak radioactive fallout into the air. Before and after spaceborn monitoring, seismic readings, thermal imagery and radar snapshots reveal a complete 3-D surface displacement.

    The only thing this site is good for now is to give Kim Jong-un a diplomatic trump card.

    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2143171/north-koreas-nuclear-test-site-has-collapsed-and-may-be-why-kim-jong-un [scmp.com]

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/958444/North-Korea-nuclear-missile-nuke-bomb-Punggye-ri-test-site [express.co.uk]

  • is that the site already collapsed and NK is building a NEW test site.
  • this just makes me wonder where they moved it to now.

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