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As reported by Reuters, further details are emerging following the summit held by North and South Korea, though plenty of details remain unclear and a lot of questions are being left unanswered.

Key highlights

Although North Korea has unilaterally halted nuclear and missile tests, international inspections were still barred in May, drawing criticism of the small country; North Korea is apparently willing to allow nuclear experts from “concerned countries” to watch the closure of its missile engine testing site and launch pad at their Dongchang-ri  facility, according to South Korea’s Moon.

North Korea has also reiterated its willingness to dismantle its main nuclear facilities in Yongbyon following a ‘corresponding measure’ from the United States, but what that move should be is unclear.

Satellite photos of North Korea in recent months have shown that North Korea has continued to work on its nuclear programs in secret, at alternative facilities.

North and South Korea have also pledged to make a joint bid for co-hosting the 2032 Olympic Games, as well as having pledged to work together at the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, but sporting events are a far cry from upholding nuclear disarmament, and no timeline has been given for access to North Korean facilities, according to Melissa Hanham, a senior research associate at the James Martin Centre for Nonproliferation Studies:  “I think we should take these steps as very positive, but remember that North Korea is still taking baby steps.  We don’t have a timeline, and we also don’t have any guarantees about the larger nuclear and missile programs. Allowing inspectors to the (Yongbyon) site would be useful, but it depends how much they let them see and what instruments they are allowed to take.”

 

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