In North Korea Nuke Site Closure, Spectacle Trumps Substance


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Foreign journalists will be allowed to journey deep into the mountains of North Korea this week to observe the closing of the country’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site in a much-touted display of goodwill before leader Kim Jong Un’s planned summit with President Donald Trump next month.

Expect good imagery, but not much else.

The public display of the closure of the facility on Mount Mantap will likely be heavy on spectacle and light on substance. And the media will be spending much of their time in an unrelated tourism zone that North Korea hopes will be the next big thing for its economy if Kim’s diplomatic overtures pay off in the months ahead.

For sure, the closure is a milestone, marking an end to the world’s last active underground testing site and offering some important insights into Kim’s mindset as he sets the stage for his meeting with Trump. Read More…

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