Report on Delay in Construction of Light-Water Reactor Project
May 16 (KCNA) -- The Korean Central News Agency on May 16 releases, upon
authorization, the following detailed report on the too much delay in the
construction of the LWR project under the DPRK-U.S. Agreed Framework: The agreed
framework, adopted on October 21, 1994 is a binding legal document in which the
two governments are committed to resolve "nuclear issue", remove
mistrust and build confidence between the two countries and move towards
improved relations between the two nations.
central point of the framework is the DPRK pledge on nuclear freeze versus the
U.S. pledge on the provision of light water reactors.
the agreed framework, the DPRK is obliged to freeze the graphite-moderated
reactors and their related facilities whereas the U.S. is obliged to supply LWRs
to the DPRK.
agreed framework specifies as follows:
accordance with the October 20, 1994 letter of assurance from the U.S.
President, the U.S. will undertake to make arrangements for the provision to the
DPRK of a LWR project with a total generating capacity of approximately
2,000mw(e) by a target date of 2003. ...
receipt of U.S. assurances for the provision of LWRs and for arrangements for
interim energy alternatives, the DPRK will freeze its graphite-moderated
reactors and related facilities and will eventually dismantle these reactors and
U.S. commitment under the agreed framework on provision of light water reactor
power plants with a generating capacity of 2,000mw(e) by the year 2003 was based
on the DPRK freezing of graphite-moderated reactors under construction and
giving up of a new project on power plants.
the time, we were about to complete the construction of graphite-moderated
reactors with a generating capacity of 50mw(e) and 200mw(e) each, relying on
local raw materials, technology and natural resources. At the same time, we were
proceeding with the plan to construct atomic power plants with a generating
capacity of several hundreds of thousands of kilowatts of electricity a year
starting from 1997 in an effort to ensure production of 2,000mw(e) annually by
the year 2003.
7th session of the 9th Supreme People's Assembly held in April 1994 adopted a
decision to finish off the atomic power plants under construction as early as
possible and embark on a new power plant project with reinforced efforts in
order to solve the acute shortage of electricity in the country.
inevitable historical background made us proceed with graphite-moderated reactor
former Soviet Union was reluctant to offer us a LWR, while offering supplies to
her satellite states, for the reason that we did not join COMECON.
then tried to purchase it from western countries such as Canada but ended up
with empty hands due to political reasons.
determined to live our own way and made public the policy on building nuclear
power industry suited to the actual conditions of our country and embarked on
developing our own technology related to the nuclear power industry relying on
uranium and graphite easily available in the DPRK.
long-drawn strenuous efforts, we developed a technology of graphite-moderated
reactor and succeeded in building one.
the U.S. began to spread the "nuclear suspicion" on our
graphite-moderated reactor and eventually came up with creating "nuclear
was how the DPRK-U.S. bilateral talks on "nuclear issue" came to take
place and they were driven into stalemate due to the hostility and mistrust that
existed between the two nations for such a long time.
was against this backdrop that in June 1994 President Kim Il Sung gave audience
to the visiting former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
the meeting, the President told Carter that the outbreak of the issue on
"nuclear suspicion" was grounded in the misunderstanding and distrust
between the DPRK and the U.S.
resolving of this issue depended entirely on how much confidence the U.S. had in
the DPRK and that the U.S. provision of lwr would clear away misunderstanding
and distrust between the two nations.
indicated the U.S. willingness to supply LWRs to the DPRK.
led to the conclusion of the agreed framework at the DPRK-U.S. bilateral talks
with major emphasis on the DPRK nuclear freeze versus the U.S. supply of LWRs
defusing the crisis eventually.
the DPRK and the U.S. had expected that the freeze on the graphite-moderated
reactors and their related facilities would address the U.S. security concerns,
while the U.S. LWR supply would help remove the DPRK mistrust of the U.S. and
promote confidence-building between the two nations.
that end, we entered into complete freeze on the graphite-moderated reactors and
their related facilities within one-month period as is spelled out in the agreed
framework, and allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to monitor
the freeze, while rendering full cooperation to the agency.
addition, we completed the safe storage of spent-fuel rods out of 5mw(e)
experimental atomic reactor as obligated under the agreed framework.
all, we have lived up to our obligation under the agreed framework over 100
the construction of light water reactor power plants the U.S. pledged to
complete by the year 2003, witnesses too much delay making it difficult to
expect its completion.
we look back on the LWR project during the past seven years since the birth of
the agreed framework, only a ground-breaking ceremony took place as late as
August 1997 and the site preparation scheduled to be finished in 14 months has
been made about 95 percent, while ground work is yet to begin.
is not accidental that some speculate the completion of the LWR project as
hardly possible by the year 2008 and may be feasible only by the year 2010.
that the LWR project is unlikely to be completed by the year 2003, the
implementation of the agreed framework has reached a serious pass.
the light of the level of the present DPRK-U.S. relations and the unique nature
of the agreed framework, the delay in the LWR project may lead to the scrapping
of the agreed framework itself.
very nature of the DPRK-U.S. relations, based on hostility, not on confidence,
resulted in the stipulation of the DPRK nuclear freeze and the U.S. LWR
provision as simultaneous actions in the agreed framework.
failure by the U.S. to live up to its obligation to LWR project by the year 2003
would possibly drive us to respond to it with abandoning on-going nuclear
cannot sit idle over our loss while maintaining the nuclear freeze.
years have passed since the adoption of the DPRK-U.S. Agreed Framework, yet the
DPRK-U.S. relations are still characterized by distrust and misunderstandings
and they have grown stronger since the emergence of the new administration in
can recall that the DPRK-U.S. Agreed Framework was made possible owing to the
courageous decision made by our side to sacrifice our self-reliant nuclear power
made such political concession out of the good faith to help remove the U.S.
concerns on "suspicion about nuclear-weapons development" and build
confidence between the two nations.
when we trace back the process of delay in the construction of the LWR project
by the U.S., we emerge with increased suspicion on the U.S. intention as to
whether the U.S. is truly committed to the supply of LWRs or seeking some kind
of filthy political purposes.
the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) aimed at supplying
LWRs to the DPRK was organized on March 9, 1995, the U.S. has delayed its
process by far citing internal reasons such as fund sharing and so on.
the U.S. deliberately delayed the process of the project raising such political
issues as "missile issue" and "suspicion of underground nuclear
facilities" which had nothing to do with the LWR project.
responsibility for the delay in the supply of LWRs entirely rests with the U.S.
side, the direct party to the agreed framework.
would be a mistake for the U.S. if it tries to evade the responsibility for the
delay in the LWR project for the reason that KEDO undertakes the project.
agreed framework specifies as follows:
U.S. will organize under its leadership an international consortium to finance
and supply the LWR project to be provided to the DPRK. The U.S., representing
the international consortium, will serve as the principal point of contact with
the DPRK for the LWR project."
the agreed framework, the U.S. side was authorized to organize an international
consortium so as to secure fund and equipment for the construction of LWRs and
the U.S., representing the international consortium, is entirely responsible for
the completion of the LWR project.
December 14, 1995 the U.S. side also signed the supply agreement which specifies
that the U.S., as the principal contact point with the DPRK, is to provide LWRs
to the DPRK on loan and turnkey basis.
only thing we are expected to do is to receive the key upon its completion.
U.S. President wrote as following in his letter of assurance dated October 20,
the event that this reactor project is not completed for the reasons beyond the
control of the DPRK, I will use the full powers of my office to provide, to the
extent necessary, such a project from the united states, subject to the U.S.
U.S. administration should have taken other steps earlier in an effort to meet
the date of completion in the year 2003 true to the assurance made by the
we see no steps taken by the U.S. administration in the efforts thus far.
the U.S. side should do at this point is to come up with steps to cover the loss
of 2,000mw(e) we are to suffer from the year 2003 due to the delay in the LWR
would be a misunderstanding if the U.S. thinks it covers the entire loss caused
by the delay in the LWR project by delivering 500,000 metric tons of heavy fuel
oil annually at present.
the agreed framework, the U.S. delivery of the 500,000 metric tons of HFO
pending the completion of the first LWR is to offset electricity loss to be
incurred by the freeze of graphite-moderated reactors with a generating capacity
of 50mw(e) and 200mw(e) each, which were near completion at the time of the
adoption of the agreed framework.
the annual delivery of 500,000 metric tons of HFO cannot offset 2,000mw(e) loss
caused by the freeze of construction of our atomic power plants scheduled to be
completed by the year 2003.
the DPRK-U.S. talks held in New York in March 2000, we laid out our proposal on
compensation for electricity loss resulting from the delay in the LWR project.
made clear that the compensation for electricity loss should be made by
electricity and that other member countries of KEDO could contribute to this
effort if the U.S. is in a real difficult position to make that compensation.
also proposed to get down to working discussion with the party concerned once an
agreement is reached in principle between the DPRK and the U.S.
U.S. cannot escape from its responsibility to compensate for the electricity
loss to be incurred by the delay in the LWR project in any case.
one side fails to meet its obligation, it should compensate for the loss
resulting from non-compliance to other side.
is the acknowledged norm and being practiced among the countries and is not
subject to any alteration with the change in power.
all this, officials in the new U.S. administration merely talk about the
revision of the framework and supply of thermal power plants, while making no
response to our demand for electricity.
can only interpret the U.S. claim for the revision of the framework as an
attempt to evade its responsibility for the delay in the LWR project and an
indication of its intention to lead it to its breakdown, given that the central
point in the framework is the DPRK nuclear freeze versus the U.S. LWR supply.
the circumstances where the LWR project has been delayed by far, a serious issue
is presented as to whether the U.S. is going to make due compensation for the
electricity loss caused by the freeze of graphite-moderated reactors by the year
2003 or skip it over without making compensation.
the U.S. goes without compensation, it would possibly create the situation where
we have to reoperate the graphite-moderated reactors.
the light of the sentiments of our army and people, we cannot allow the U.S. to
go without any compensation to us on any account.
the U.S. side fails to meet its obligation to the provision of LWR project and
tries to evade its responsibility to make due compensation for our electricity
loss, it will only compel us to go our own way.
Copyright © 2001 The People's Korea. All rights reserved.