Korean Economy News
North Korea to close nuclear test site in May, adjust its time zone, says South

By Kang Gye-man and Cho Jeehyun

North Korea promised to close the nuclear test site in May and invite foreign experts and journalists to witness the closure, South Korea’s presidential office said Sunday. The North also indicated it would unify its time zone with that of South Korea.

On Friday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed to work to make the Korean peninsula nuclear-free during the historic summit at a border truce village.

“Kim, during the summit with President Moon, that he would carry out the closure of the nuclear site in May and invite experts from South Korea and the United States as well as journalists to make the process transparent to the international community,” said presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan said in a press briefing on Sunday.

Kim was also cited to have said that “the U.S. feels repulsive about us, but once we talk, they will realize that I am not a person who will fire a nuclear weapon to South Korea, the Pacific or the U.S. Why would we need to live under such difficult conditions with nuclear weapons if we are to meet often and build trust with the U.S.”

In regard to the North’s nuclear test site, high-rank Blue House official said that North Korea may be referring to the Punggye-ri, which has been the site of all six of North Korea`s nuclear weapons tests.

Two Koreas are yet to discuss on when and how to send the experts and journalists to disclose the closure of the nuclear test site, and Yoon said that it may be done before North Korea’s meeting with the U.S takes place.

Separately, Kim also revealed a plan to re-adjust North Korea’s time zone to match that of South Korea, said Yoon. The two Koreas have used the same time zone until the North in 2015 set its clock 30 minutes behind South Korea. South Korea’s local time is set at nine hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

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