South Korean President Moon Jae-in applauded North Korea's decision to shut down its nuclear testing ground later this month… referring to the move as the start of the regime's denuclearization process.
"I highly regard and welcome North Korea's decision to transparently disclose the dismantlement of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site to the international community following its release of the American detainees."
Speaking at a weekly meeting of his top aides, the South Korean president who's been playing the mediator role and laying the groundwork for the North Korea, U.S. summit slated for June 12th in Singapore said the latest measure by Pyongyang carry special meaning in three aspects:
One, it will be the initial stage in the complete denuclearization of North Korea.
Two, it can be viewed in positive light as it reflects North Korea's commitment to the success of the upcoming North Korea, U.S. summit.
And three, President Moon highly regards the move in that the North Korean leader is taking steps in fulfilling each promise made at the April 27th inter-Korean summit.
Mr. Moon added that both sides are making great efforts to make the first-ever Kim, Trump summit a success that South Korea is also working together to make that happen as the entire world hope to see that as well.
"I hope those in our political circle will show politics of harmony at least on this issue to the people."
No mention of North Korea's failure to include international experts at the Punggyeri shutdown as promised at the inter-Korean summit.
"It is quite possible that the North's ceremonial dismantlement will end up a ceremony and there's no denying that both Presidents Moon and Trump are very much aware that expert presence is a minimum requirement in inspecting and verifying North Korea's denuclearization efforts.
The fact that neither one has raised an issue but welcomed the decision as goodwill gesture ahead of the North Korea, U.S. summit is leading more analysts to believe the real denuclearization deal is in the works and will be made at the Kim, Trump meeting next month.
Moon Connyoung, Arirang News, the Blue House."