The Seoul government still took notice of the North seeking to hold an event to demolish the Punggye-ri site as scheduled, voicing hope that the measure could lead to a success in the much-anticipated June 12 summit between the North and the United States.
"We think it is disappointing and regrettable that (the South Korean) journalists cannot visit the North due to no follow-up measures after the North's invitation to an event for the dismantling of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site to be held from May 23-25," the government said in a message issued in the name of Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon.
"In spite of that, we take note of the fact that the North is pushing for the dismantling as promised and hope that it will lead to a successful summit between the North and the US," it added.
The comments came after the North declined to accept the list of South Korean journalists chosen to cover the dismantlement early in the day, making it technically hard for South Korea media to join the high-profile event.
The no response was despite the Seoul government's repeated requests for its acceptance through the communication channel at the truce village of Panmunjom.
North Korea announced in mid-May that it will publicly shut down the test site located in the country's mountainous northeastern region in a ceremony to which media from South Korea, China, Russia, the United States and Britain were invited to cover.
The site is where the North carried out all six of its nuclear denotation tests.
The North invited eight South Korean reporters from a newswire and a broadcasting company to the event. They arrived in Beijing on Monday, hoping for last-minute approval of their trip to the North.
It was reported that foreign journalists, excluding the South Koreans, headed for the North by flying to Wonsan on a charter plane from which they are expected to travel by train to an area near the test site. They are set to return home either on Saturday or Sunday.(Yonhap)