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DPRK refuses to grant S.Korean reporters access to nuke site dismantlement

(Xinhua)    16:56, May 21, 2018

SEOUL, May 21 -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Monday refused to receive a list of South Korean journalists who could witness the dismantlement of its nuclear test site, Seoul's unification ministry said.

Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun told a press briefing that the South Korean side tried to send the list of journalists who will witness the dismantlement of the DPRK's Punggye-ri nuclear test site via the communications hotline at the border village of Panmunjom.

The DPRK side continued to deny receiving the list, clouding the South Korean journalists' participation in the coverage of the dismantlement scheduled for Wednesday to Friday, the spokesman said.

Pyongyang has not responded to the unification ministry's comments.

On May 12, the DPRK invited journalists from China, Russia, the United States, Britain and South Korea to cover the dismantlement of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, where Pyongyang conducted all of its six nuclear tests.

The DPRK's refusal came after Pyongyang canceled high-level talks with Seoul last week over South Korea-U.S. air combat exercises, codenamed Max Thunder.

The air drills allegedly involve about 100 aircrafts, including the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets. The radar-evading fighters are mobilized usually for an attack purpose.

South Korea's defense ministry claimed that the air drills are defensive in nature.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Xu JiaWei, Hongyu)

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