North Korea To Shut Down Nuclear Test Site In May, And Unify Time Zones: South Korea

| April 29 , 2018 , 11:15 IST

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, who had earlier confirmed that he would be shutting down the country's nuclear test site has now confirmed that the denuclearisation would take place in May 2018, South Korea's presidential office said on Sunday. Kim would also open the process to experts and journalists from South Korea and the United States.

Yoon Young-chan, the spokesperson of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, said that Kim Jong-Un also expressed optimism regarding his upcoming meeting with US President Donald Trump which is expected to take place next month or early June.  

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“Once we start talking, the United States will know that I am not a person to launch nuclear weapons at South Korea, the Pacific or the United States,” Yoon quoted Kim as saying.

“If we maintain frequent meetings and build trust with the United States and receive promises for an end to the war and a non-aggression treaty, then why would be need to live in difficulty by keeping our nuclear weapons?” Yoon quoted Kim as saying.

In another significant move, Kim Jong-Un also revealed plans to re-adjust its own time-zone to match that of South Korea.

For decades North and South Korea used the same time zone, which was the same as that of Japan, approximately 9 hours ahead of GMT, and was implemented during Japan's rule of the Korean peninsula from 1910-1945. North Korea in 2015 created its own time zone “Pyongyang Time” half-an-hour behind South Korea and Japan, defending the new time zone as an effort to remove legacy of Japanese colonial rule.

According to Yoon, North’s decision to return to the Seoul time zone was aimed at facilitating communication with South Korea and also the United States.