North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Current Status and Future Inspections

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38 NORTH

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Current Status and Future Inspections

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Frank V. Pabian and Joel Wit.

One task ahead for the United States and North Korea if current denuclearization negotiations continue will be to conduct an onsite inspection of the now shut-down Punggye-ri nuclear test site. That inspection will have limited utility—there are no guarantees that North Korea would not resume testing at Punggye-ri or other locations if the current thawing of the political atmosphere ends. But the successful conduct of such an inspection would serve to not only build confidence between the US and North Korea but also as an initial model for cooperation for future inspections to help verify agreements covering North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.

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