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In handout image provided by the News1-Dong-A Ilbo, the Punggye-ri nuclear test site is being demolished in Punggye-ri, North Korea. Photo: News1-Dong-A Ilbo via Getty Images

North Korea demolished its nuclear test site using a series of explosions as international journalists looked on ahead of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's scheduled meeting with President Trump next month, AP reports.

But, but, but: International nuclear weapons inspectors weren't on hand for today's event, which leaves open the possibility that the move is reversible and doesn't signal a definite move toward North Korean denuclearization. It also shows North Korea signaling it is distancing itself from potential future verification, which is where conversations on denuclearization have fallen apart before.

Entrance to a tunnel at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. Photo: News1-Dong-A Ilbo via Getty Images
People watch a television news presentation showing the dismantling of North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site, at a railway station in Seoul. Photo: Jung Yeon-je/AFP/Getty Images
Photo: Handout/News1 via Getty Images

Go deeper

20 mins ago - World

Iran's nuclear dilemma: Ramp up now or wait for Biden

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The world is waiting to see whether Iran will strike back at Israel or the U.S. over the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran's military nuclear program.

Why it matters: Senior Iranian officials have stressed that Iran will take revenge against the perpetrators, but also respond by continuing Fakhrizadeh’s legacy — the nuclear program. The key question is whether Iran will accelerate that work now, or wait to see what President-elect Biden puts on the table.

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

U.K. first nation to clear Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for mass rollout

A health care worker during the phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial by Pfizer and BioNTech in Ankara, Turkey, in October. Photo: Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's government announced Wednesday it's approved Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, which "will be made available across the U.K. from next week."

Why it matters: The U.K. has beaten the U.S. to become the first Western country to give emergency approval for a vaccine that's found to be 95% effective with no serious side effects against a virus that's killed nearly 1.5 million people globally.

3 hours ago - World

Biden says he won't immediately remove U.S. tariffs on China

President-elect Joe Biden during an event in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's 25% tariffs imposed on China under the phase one trade deal will remain in place at the start of the new administration, President-elect Biden said in an interview with the New York Times published early Wednesday.

Details: "I'm not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs," Biden said. He plans to conduct a full review of the current U.S. policy on China and speak with key allies in Asia and Europe to "develop a coherent strategy," he said.