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Bush team may alter Geneva Accord

Posted January. 06, 2001 20:26,   


In a move that would freeze North Korea's nuclear development project, members of the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect George W. Bush have been studying the possibility of reworking the 1994 Geneva Accord between the U.S. and North Korea, according to Japan's Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

The report further stated that the Bush team was considering the possibility of providing a coal-burning power plant rather than the light-water reactor that is already under construction.

The report quoted a source close to Bush and revealed that many key members of the upcoming administration viewed the Geneva Accord as "crippled" and that various experts have already begun the process of negotiating a revision.

The newspaper further stated that many on the Bush team back the idea of providing a coal-fueled power plant, which is cheaper and easier to build. They are reportedly of the opinion that the KEDO plan to build two light-water reactors in North Korea by 2003, which was later pushed back to 2008 due to a funding shortage, would not meet North Korea's demand for energy.

However, such a unilateral attempt to alter the Geneva Accord may only prompt a backlash from North Korea, the news agency said.

North Korea may take a hardline stance if the nuclear development project is held up or cancelled, Nihon Keizai Shimbun said. It may also prove difficult to rally South Korea and Japan, which have been providing funding for the project based on the Geneva Accord, behind the new agreement, it said.

Shim Kyu-Sun ksshim@donga.com