DPRK receives list of S.Korean journalists to cover nuke test site dismantling

Xinhua
The DPRK has received the list of South Korean journalists on early Wednesday to cover the planned dismantling of its nuclear test site, Seoul's unification ministry said.
Xinhua

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea on early Wednesday received the list of South Korean journalists to allow them to cover the planned dismantling of its nuclear test site, Seoul's unification ministry said.

The ministry said in a statement that it sent the list of eight South Korean journalists who will visit the Punggye-ri nuclear test site to cover its dismantlement.

The list was delivered through the inter-Korean communications channel at the border village of Panmunjom, and the DPRK side received it in morning opening call of the Panmunjom hotline, according to the ministry.

The DPRK has invited journalists from China, Russia, the United States, Britain and South Korea to let them witness the dismantling of the Punggye-ri underground nuclear test site, where all of its six nuclear tests were conducted, scheduled for May 23-25.

Except for the South Korean journalists, other press corps already arrived at the DPRK's east city of Wonsan Tuesday on a flight from Beijing.

The unification ministry said the South Korean press corps will fly directly to Wonsan at 12:30pm local time (0330 GMT) on a government airplane.

The DPRK had refused to receive the list of South Korean journalists, citing the annual South Korea-U.S. air combat exercises, codenamed Max Thunder.

The air drills reportedly mobilized about 100 aircraft, including eight US F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets. The radar-evading fighter is used to secretly attack an enemy target.

South Korea had claimed the joint air drills were defensive in nature, while the DPRK considered it a dress rehearsal for the northward invasion.

As Pyongyang permitted the South Korean media to cover the nuclear test site dismantling, expectations ran high for the suspended inter-Korean talks to be resumed.

The DPRK made a pre-dawn cancellation last week of the scheduled high-level talks with South Korea citing the air drills between Seoul and Washington.

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