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N. Korea invites foreign media only to the Punggye-ri test site

N. Korea invites foreign media only to the Punggye-ri test site

Posted May. 23, 2018 07:54,   

Updated May. 23, 2018 07:54


North Korea did not invite South Korean journalists to an event where it would dismantle its nuclear test site in Punggye-ri. It will hold the closing ceremony from Wednesday to Friday in the presence of journalists from four countries — the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia and China. It seems that the North is trying to put more pressure on South Korea in a roundabout way to have more leverage with the United States without spoiling the mood for the North Korea-U.S. summit. North Korea cancelled a high-level summit with South Korea and demanded repatriation of defected North Korean waitresses.

Journalists from four countries arrived in Wonsan, North Korea, on a chartered airplane of Air Koryo Tuesday morning. South Korean journalists waited to receive a roster from the North at the Beijing Airport from early in the morning on the same day, but they did not receive an invite. The possibility of North Korea inviting South Korean journalists to visit the site by land is extremely low. “It seems that South Korean journalists will not be able to visit the Punggye-ri nuclear test site,” said a government insider. Unification Minister Cho Myung-kyun said, “It is very unfortunate, but the silver lining is that North Korea will proceed to scrap the nuclear test site, which is an initial step for denuclearization.”

Jin-Woo Shin niceshin@donga.com · Sang-Jun Han alwaysj@donga.com