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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 26, May 1998

North Korean Statement on Nuclear Framework Agreement

'US Should Take Practical Steps As Soon As Possible,' Statement Carried by the official Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) news agency, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), available http://www.kcna.co.jp, 8 May 1998

Full text

"The spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry answered questions of KCNA on May 7 concerning the fact that the US side has not taken practical steps to implement the DPRK-US framework agreement. He told KCNA:

'The agreement was adopted in 1994, the keynote of which is that both sides shall build confidence with the DPRK maintaining nuclear freeze and the United States offering light water reactors and [replacing]...hostile relations with eased sanctions. No sooner had the agreement been adopted than we promptly froze self-reliant nuclear power facilities, comprehensively lifted the sanctions on the United States and smoothly promoted safe storage of spent-fuel rods. Thus, we have sincerely fulfilled our obligations under the agreement. The US side, however, has not taken practical steps to ease the sanctions on the DPRK as it promised in the agreement. On the contrary, it is trying to use them as a means for gaining concession from the DPRK and, at the same time, is persistently pursuing the hostile policy toward the DPRK with intensified military threat. The ground-breaking ceremony of the LWRs [Light-Water Reactors] project, a main point of the agreement, took place more than one year later than scheduled. Now the construction is not progressing substantially on the pretext of difficulties within the KEDO (Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organisation). This makes us doubt that the United States can complete one of the LWRs till the year 2003 as it promised in the agreement. The United States is obliged to supply heavy oil to the DPRK to compensate for electricity shortage resulting from nuclear freeze. But the US Side has not set forth the timetable for heavy oil supply this year and is not supplying heavy oil to the DPRK in time. All facts show that the DPRK has gone farther in implementing the agreement whereas the US side is not sincerely fulfilling its obligations. This causes serious imbalance in the implementation of the agreement which is based on the principle of simultaneous action. Therefore, our competent organ says that the DPRK should no longer lend an ear to the empty promise of the US side, but open and readjust the frozen nuclear facilities and do everything our own way.

We have issued warnings to the US side over this on several times. The US has made empty promise each time, but has not taken practical steps to implement the agreement. There is a limit to our patience concerning this matter. The situation keeps the DPRK from promoting spent-fuel rods storage any longer till the US side has taken relevant measures. If the spent-fuel rods storage is suspended for a long time, we will be compelled to take measures for safe storage of spent-fuel rods for technical and security reasons. This will be an unavoidable step to ensure the balance in the implementation of the agreement and to save the agreement. In order that the DPRK may promote the safe storage of spent-fuel rods regularly, the US side should take practical steps to fulfil its obligations under the agreement as soon as possible. In case the US side repeats empty words, the consequences will be unpredictably grave.'"

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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