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Japanese Gov`t to Provide Energy to North Korea if Abduction Matter is Resolved

Japanese Gov`t to Provide Energy to North Korea if Abduction Matter is Resolved

Posted August. 24, 2003 21:35,   


The Japanese government plans to present a two-step energy support project in the six-way talks held in Beijing, the Yomiuri Shimbun said Sunday. It may provide North Korea with heavy oil and electricity step by step, if the impoverished country agrees to drop its nuclear development ambitions and return abducted Japanese.

In particular, if the North appears to have a different attitude toward the abductions, the Japanese government may resume providing heavy oil to the isolated country as a first step and help build a thermoelectric power plant and electric transmission lines in its second step, even if the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) halts the construction of light-water reactors.

The Tokyo government, however, will make it clear that it will consider the economic aid project only when the kidnapping matter is completely resolved and the two countries` relationship is back to normal.

On the other hand, the United States will not offer any specific economic or diplomatic rewards to North Korea before it abandons its nuclear development program in a verifiable manner, the Washington Post reported Sunday. The New York Times said, however, the Bush administration will not stop other countries from making such offers.

Prior to this, the U.S. State Department announced its representatives for the six-party talks including Assistant Secretary of State James A. Kelly, U.S Ambassador to China Clark Randt, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Lawless, Director Michael Green of the National Safety Council (NSC), and Brigadier General Gary North.

Meanwhile, South Korea`s representatives, headed by Assistant Foreign Minister Lee Soo-hyuk, will leave the country on Monday for the six-nation talks.

maypole@donga.com parkwj@donga.com