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KEDO to Review Light Water Reactor Project

Posted November. 15, 2002 22:44,   


The Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organizations (KEDO) decided to suspend oil supply for North Korea from December and to review the light water reactor project unless North Korea takes specific and reliable steps to abandon its nuclear weapons development program by early December.

Thus the Agreed Framework signed by North Korea and the US in 1994 is brought to the verge of collapse. Under the Agreed Framework the US agreed to construct two light water reactors and provide 500,000 tons of heavy oil every year in return for the freezing of nuclear facilities in North Korea. Also it acts on the eight-year long denuclearization regime on the Korean peninsula and the security of the Northeast Asian region.

The executive board of directors of KEDO comprising Korea, the US, Japan and the EU held a meeting on Nov. 14 in New York and issued a joint statement. In the statement, the board said that North Korea`s nuclear development program is in serious violation of the Non-proliferation Treaty(NPT), the security agreement reached between North Korea and the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA), and its duty under the Declaration of the Denuclearization on the Korean peninsula.

KEDO called on North Korea to discard the nuke program in a visible and verifiable manner, saying that North Korea`s nuclear program poses a grave common threat to all the responsible countries in the world.

Chang Sun-sup, South Korea`s chief delegate said that KEDO would hold a meeting again before Dec. 15 to examine the reaction from North Korea and to discuss countermeasures. He also said that North Korea should take appropriate action by Dec. 10. Japanese media reported that the board of directors` meeting would be held in New York on Dec. 11 and Dec. 12.

Chang added that the verifiable way demanded by KEDO includes the inspection on North Korea`s nuclear facilities and other KEDO activities including the construction of light water reactors, making it clear that the light water reactor project might be put to a halt according to North Korea`s attitude.

Meanwhile, in a bid to solve the nuclear issue, the government is expected to maintain close consultation with board members of KEDO and to urge North Korea to discard its nuclear program first.

A government official said yesterday that the government would send a message to North Korea to persuade it not to take an extreme measures on the pretext of the KEDO`S decision.

Another government official said that given that board members of KEDO agreed to provide fuel oil for November delivery for North Korea, the members gave time to the North so that it could make diplomatic efforts to solve the nuke issue in a peaceful way. He also added that North Korea, however, should be aware that time is running out.