North Korea looks set to destroy its only known nuclear test site in front of international journalists probably later Thursday, given their itinerary and local weather conditions.
A group of reporters and television crews from South Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Britain are apparently still on their way to the remote northeastern area of Punggye-ri after leaving Wonsan, an eastern port city, by train Wednesday evening.
The train left Wonsan at around 7 p.m. for a journey expected to take 11-12 hours to be followed by a four-hour bus ride and a more than an hour mountain hike to the venue, according to a pool report sent by South Korean journalists there Wednesday night. There has been no update yet.
The North earlier said it would dismantle the underground tunnels and other facilities at the Punggye-ri complex by exposition between May 23-25.
It has yet to announce a fixed date and time.
|An image of North Korea's dismantling of its nuclear test site (Yonhap)|
The ongoing journey of the foreign media guests rather close to the location suggests that the event is imminent. The reclusive North is unlikely to let the visitors stay for a long time at the site where it conducted six nuclear tests over the past decade.
The weather is also forecast to be relatively good for the coming hours in the region, with rain showers predicted to start late Thursday.
It's unclear whether the North's leader Kim Jong-un will also visit the site to observe the closure of the facilities, a symbol of the communist nation's nuclear program.
Hwi Won email@example.com
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