Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Experts doubt North Korea really destroyed nuclear test site

Experts doubt North Korea really destroyed nuclear test site

North Korea's apparent destruction of a nuclear test site last month may not be all that it seemed, according to experts quoted in United States media.

When North Korea destroyed the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, it was framed as an act of goodwill ahead of the planned summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump, with the North inviting journalists into the isolated country to witness the event.

USA intelligence and worldwide arms control officials have questioned whether the explosions seen in footage actually demolished the facility, according to CNN.

However, weapons inspectors or nonproliferation experts were invited to the demolitions, and now believe they were just put on for show, a finding USA intelligence underscores, notes CNN.

USA intelligence also backed up these findings, as it found that the explosions likely weren't strong enough to destroy the tunnels.

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Preliminary analysis of North Korea's detonation indicates the explosions were not strong enough to destroy the tunnels, a US official with knowledge of the findings told CNN.

This may be one of the clearest indications that at least portions of the tunnel complex remain usable, something the USA had suspected since the North Koreans allowed media to view the detonations. It also found that North Korean officials removed technical equipment from the site before the detonation, signaling that the country plans to reuse numerous tools it was supposed to have destroyed.

CNN reported this week that according to intelligence assessments, Kim may be keeping the capability to regenerate his nuclear program, even if he does give up warheads and missiles during the upcoming negotiations.

"He is not going to do anything that allows him to become vulnerable", an official told CNN.

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