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Writer:   | Editor: Lily A  | From:  | Updated: 2018-05-25

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Thursday blew up the tunnels of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site located in the northeast of the country, and officially announced its dismantlement.

The three tunnels of the test site were blown up by 16:00, according to Xinhua reporters on site.

Pyongyang invited overseas journalists from China, Russia, the United States and Britain to witness the site’s dismantlement.

Following the explosion, the DPRK will remove all observation facilities and research institutes, withdraw guards and completely close the surrounding testing area.

The DPRK conducted six nuclear tests at Punggye-ri between October 2006 and September 2017.

The Third Plenary Meeting of the Seventh Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea made the decision last month that the country will discontinue its nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic rocket test-fire from April 21, according to an earlier report from the official Korean Central News Agency.

The testing grounds will be dismantled to ensure transparency, the report said.

As for the South Korean side, the authorities said Thursday that the planned dismantlement of a nuclear test site by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will be the first step toward complete denuclearization on the peninsula.

The comment was made at a permanent committee meeting of the National Security Commission (NSC), chaired by Chung Eui-yong, top security advisor for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, according to the Blue House.

The committee members assessed the planned dismantling of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site by the DPRK and discussed follow-up measures.

Furthermore, the NSC members also discussed various ways to support the highly-expected DPRK-U.S. summit, which is scheduled between top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump on June 12 in Singapore.(Xinhua)