March 29, 2018 13:56
North Korea has halved the number of troops at the nuclear test site in Punggye-ri, North Hamgyong Province, the Asahi Shimbun reported on Wednesday.
Of the four battalions stationed at the site, Pyongyang relocated two early this month that were tasked with digging tunnels, according to the Japanese daily.
The step was taken in anticipation of talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the daily quoted sources as saying.
Earlier, the website 38 North at Johns Hopkins University reported that tunneling at the site seems to have come to a halt.
There are rumors that the site is no longer usable because tunnels are caving in amid a series of aftershocks caused by multiple nuclear tests, but the daily said the two battalions were left to resume nuclear testing if relations with Washington sour again.
Some six aftershocks were detected and an underground tunnel collapsed between last September and December, after the latest nuclear test.
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