The event was witnessed by foreign media, but no inspectors were present.

Kim Jong-un

Kim Jong-un Photo Credit: EPA

North Korea on Thursday began the demolition of its only known nuclear test site, Punggye-ri, in the mountainous northeastern part of the country. The event was witnessed by about 20 foreign reporters, who traveled 12 hours to the remote and sparsely populated site. No inspectors were present.

The move is seen as a positive diplomatic gesture by North Korea ahead of leader Kim Jong-un’s meeting with US President Donald Trump next month in Singapore.

A reporter told Sky News that journalists traveled by foot for about an hour through the mountainous region to witness the explosion from a distance of about 500 meters (about 547 yards).

Earlier, North Korea threatened that it would stop cooperating with Washington following US Vice President Mike Pence’s remarks that the North would end up like Libya if it didn’t follow through with its promise of denuclearization.

North Korea threatened it would not participate in the scheduled summit and said it is ready for a nuclear confrontation as much as it is ready for dialogue. Pyongyang’s deputy foreign minister said in an interview that Pence’s remarks are an expression of ignorance against her country.

Experts have said that the destruction of the site will not affect North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.