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North Korea to 'hold ceremony for dismantling of nuclear test site in two weeks'

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North Korea to 'hold ceremony for dismantling of nuclear test site in two weeks'
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REUTERS
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North Korea says it'll dismantle its nuclear test site in less than two weeks.

In a ceremony between May 23 and 25, journalists from South Korea, China, the US, Britain and Russia will witness the historic event.

The dismantling of the Punggye-ri site in the north of the country will involve using explosives to collapse all tunnels and remove all obverservation facilities, research buildings and security posts.

It comes after the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, promised to provide economic aid if Kim Jong-un gives up his nuclear weapons.

The head of the UN's World Food Programme believes there is a sense of optimism after Pompeo's "unprecendented" visit.

"There’s good news and bad news, like there is in almost every nation that we’re in," said David Beasley. "The good news is: there’s improvement. We’re making a difference. People are working hard to truly be food secure. The bad news is only 15% of the land in this country is arable.

"Also, they face floods and droughts and malnutrition. So we’re working with them to address their food security issues."

The UN says seven in 10 North Koreans were relying on food aid, but Kim Jong-un has made it clear that development is a priority.