North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves to people attending a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father, Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/File Photo
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North Korea promised to close its atomic test site next month and invite U.S. weapons experts to the country, Seoul said Sunday, as Donald Trump expressed optimism about securing a nuclear deal in his summit with the secretive regime.The reported pledge from the North's leader Kim Jong Un follows weeks of whirlwind diplomacy that saw Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agree to pursue the complete denuclearization of the peninsula during a historic summit on Friday.Tension has been high on the flashpoint peninsula since last year when the North carried its sixth -- and most powerful -- atomic test and test-fired missiles capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.Kim also slammed speculation during his meeting with Moon that the Punggye-ri test site was already unusable after an underground tunnel there reportedly collapsed.The remarks are likely to be seen as a sweetener ahead of Trump's own planned summit with Kim, which the U.S. president said would take place "in the next three or four weeks".Pyongyang has long wanted to see an end to the U.S. military presence and nuclear umbrella over the South, but it invaded its neighbor in 1950 and is the only one of the two Koreas to possess nuclear weapons.
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