Korea offers to join global ban on nuclear testing


North Korean Ambassador Han Tae Song announced Tuesday that North Korea intends to join global diplomatic efforts to effect a worldwide ban on nuclear weapons testing.

North Korea, which is believed to have tested six nuclear weapons, has said it will dismantle its only known nuclear test site this month ahead of a meeting on June 12 between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un.

Ambassador Han made the announcement during the Conference on Disarmament, but notably did not specifically mention the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which is the treaty being worked on to ban all weapons testing.

North Korea is one of the so-called Annex 2 states that must ratify that treaty for it to come into force.

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"This remark is significant as a further indication that the DPRK really does have no intention to test again", a North Korea expert with diplomatic experience who wished to remain anonymous told NK News.

In a move welcomed by Washington and Seoul, North Korea said at the weekend it will "completely" destroy the Punggye-ri test site, in a ceremony scheduled between May 23-25 in front of invited foreign media. "I wonder what the Iranians, for example, will make of it".

North Korea has expressed intent to join worldwide efforts on fully banning nuclear tests.