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Pyongyang not inviting US officials to nuclear test site closing ceremony

May 23, 7:24 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

The North Korean foreign ministry announced earlier that the public closing ceremony of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site would take place between May 23 and 25

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WASHINGTON, May 23. /TASS/. North Korean authorities did not invite US officials to the ceremony of dismantling the nuclear test site facilities in the territory of the Punggye-ri, Spokesperson for the United States Department of State Heather Nauert said on Tuesday at a regular briefing for journalists.

"I can only tell you that we have not had an invitation that was extended to us. My understanding is that the journalists were invited, and I just do not have anything beyond that," she said answering a question.

"We certainly welcome the announcement of plans to dismantle its nuclear test site. I’d go back to permanent, irreversible closure that can be inspected and fully accounted for. That is a key step in the denuclearization for North Korea, and we look forward to learning more about the details of that," Nauert added.

The North Korean foreign ministry announced earlier that the public closing ceremony of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site would take place between May 23 and 25. The exact date will depend on weather conditions. Currently, Pyongyang is conducting required technical preparations. Journalists from five countries - South Korea, China, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom - have been invited to attend the ceremony.

The agreement on dismantling the site was reached at a summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Panmunjom on April 27.

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