From The Guardian:
North Korea’s main nuclear test site has partially collapsed under the stress of multiple explosions, possibly rendering it unsafe for further testing and leaving it vulnerable to radiation leaks, a study by Chinese geologists has shown.
The findings could cast doubt on North Korea’s sincerity in announcing last weekend that it would stop testing nuclear weapons at the site ahead of Friday’s summit between the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in.
Why would the findings cast doubt on North Korea’s sincerity? I’d have thought it would confirm them.
Of course, what The Guardian is saying is that North Korea is only pledging to stop nuclear testing because the site is unusable, and they may be right. However, it probably doesn’t matter. What this does is give Kim Jong-un a way of saving face in front of both his adversaries (who are glad nuclear testing will be stopped) and his subjects back home (who will see it as a smart trick, conceding something they no longer have). Saving face is of immense importance in Asian cultures, and Korean is no exception: if one side will lose face, chances are there will be no deal. If this is a route to there being no more nuclear testing in North Korea and all sides are happy, who cares how it comes about?