Is North Korea's big promise to scrap its nuclear and missile testing really what it seems? Pyongyang took the world by surprise, when it pledged to close its only known nuclear test site. And to do it in a quote, transparent way. Some analysts call it a sign that North Korea is opening up ahead of groundbreaking talks with South Korea on Friday.
But new Chinese research into damage of the test site, hints that leader Kim Jong-un's promise maybe a hollow one. Reuters' Malcom Foster explains.>> Some experts say that the latest test that North Korea conducted there, which it claims was an H-bomb, was so large that it damaged most of the tunnels up there, and the site is no longer usable.
So by saying it's dismantling this site, it's really giving up nothing, cuz it doesn't work.>> For other skeptics, it's not enough for Pyongyang to simply shut the site. They say that if leader Kim Jong-un is really serious about dismantling the testing program, he needs to let inspectors visit the site.
But getting the North Korean leader on board with inspections, could be tough. Some experts say the reason he volunteered to shut down testing in the first place, was to avoid negotiations over the matter. Pyongyang's surprising pledge might also be part of a new strategy.>> It may be trying to show to the world that it is strong, that testing is for new comers.
It's a sign of technological immaturity. We are now a nuclear power, we're part of the nuclear club. You better respect us. Deal with it.>> This may be a message not only for South Korea ahead of Friday's summit, but also for the United States. Kim Jong-un is set to meet with Donald Trump within the next couple of months.
The US President is expected to test North Korea's new openness, by pushing for inspections.