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Five Countries Will Share Cost for Heavy Oil Supply

Posted July. 14, 2005 02:07,   


It was reported on July 13 that the Korean government will pay for the cost of providing 2,000,000kW of electricity to North Korea under the premise of North Korea’s disposal of its nuclear weapons, but in return the Korean government plans to request from the five countries participating in the six-party talks to share the costs of supplying heavy oil.

In addition, the Korean government decided not to accept North Korea’s demand for additional electricity besides the 2,000,000kW to be provided.

A senior National Security Council (NSC) official, at a meeting with reporters on the same day, was asked about the resumption of supplying heavy oil to North Korea for three years, once North Korea renounces its nuclear ambitions upon which the provision of electricity will commence, he answered, “Countries taking part in the six-party talks should share the costs in any way.”

He also affirmed, “There is a possibility of North Korea proposing a revision such as asking for the construction of a thermal power plant instead of the transmission of electricity, but asking for more than 2,000,000kW is irrational.”

“Although a special multinational management organization is unnecessary, the basic conditions for electricity supply will be prepared in the framework of the six-party talks, so if North Korea breaks its promise, the concerned countries will consult with each other and decide on ending the supply of electricity,” he added.

Regarding the “important proposal,” he opined, “We will review the appropriate procedure and take the steps to receive the consent of the Korean people.” However, he also added, “But that doesn’t mean we will be strict and hold a national referendum or anything.”

On the other hand, on the same day, President Roh Moo-hyun met with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for an hour at Cheong Wa Dae and said, “The role of the U.S. is very important, not only in solving North Korea’s nuclear issue, but based on that, also goes beyond the Korean peninsula dimension and changes the conflicting structure of Northeast Asia into reconciliation and cooperation.”

Secretary Rice said, “Now is a good opportunity to solve North Korea’s nuclear issue, and the U.S. is prepared to put much effort for the successful six-party talks. North Korea should also actually prove its willingness to renounce nuclear weapons at the talks.” Secretary Rice left for the U.S. in the afternoon.

Jung-Hun Kim Jong-Koo Yoon jnghn@donga.com jkmas@donga.com