PUNGGYE-RI, the DPRK, May 25 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) demolished the nuclear test site at Punggye-ri on Thursday morning.
A series of dull explosions were heard at the scene. Spurts of gravel and dust-plumes were ejected from the entrance of No. 2 Tunnel before it finally caved in.
Ahead of the demolition, reporters were briefed about the basic information of the site and the arrangement for the demolition in front of a three-meter-high and four-meter-long diagram near the entrance of the No. 2 Tunnel.
The 30 reporters from 10 media outlets from China, Russia, the United States, Britain and South Korea arrived at the site by train and then by car, flanked by the DPRK officials, security staff and medical personnel.
This is the first time that the DPRK has invited foreigners over to the Punggye-ri nuclear test site and this is also the first time that the DPRK had disclosed detailed information about it.
At this site, the DPRK conducted six nuclear tests between October 2006 and September 2017.
According to the diagram, the site had four tunnels: No. 1 Tunnel was abandoned after it was destroyed in the DPRK's first nuclear test conducted in 2006; No. 2 Tunnel had been used for five nuclear tests; No. 3 and No. 4 were back up tunnels.
Reporters were given a tour of the entrance of the No. 2 Tunnel, arranged by the DPRK. Inside it, white fuses and linked-explosives were clearly visible.
Reporters also visited the No. 3 and the No. 4 Tunnels. They saw that these two tunnels were higher than the No. 2 Tunnel, and the No. 4 Tunnel had a much firmer interior structure.
According to an official from the Nuclear Weapons Institute of the DPRK, the No. 3 and No. 4 tunnels could have been used to conduct further tests at any time, and No. 4 Tunnel was designed for "super tests".
It is believed that by choosing this timing to disclose the two backup tunnels and by dismantling them, Pyongyang is trying to demonstrate its determination to halt further nuclear tests and walk-the-talk on the commitment made at the DPRK-South Korean summit.
All ground observation facilities, research institutes and structures of guard units have been duly removed.
Before leaving the test site, reporters were offered brushes and water to clean their clothing and other personal belongings.
Such a move has showed goodwill and kindness not only to the reporters but also to the whole world that the DPRK's decision to demolish Punggye-ri test site is not the end result of a rash decision, but one bourne out of sincerity.