Will Re-Operate Nuclear Facilities Within A Few Weeks to Produce Electricity”
with Sin Yong Song, Vice Minister of Power and Coal Industries
By Kim Ji Yong, PK correspondent to Pyongyang
How is the current condition of electricity supply in the DPRK?
As the U.S. stopped supplying heavy oil to the DPRK, the regular operation
of our thermal power stations is directly disturbed. Thermal power stations run
mainly on coal, and we use heavy oil as supplementary fuel for the operation of
thermal power stations. We estimate the annual shortage of electricity at
hundreds of thousand kilowatts.
foresaw the present situation, as we have paid attention to the Bush
administration’s hard line policy. The Cabinet and ministries of the DPRK held
their emergency meetings to establish measures to cope with this problem. We
have promoted technical innovations to control the use of fuel oil in thermal
power stations while constructing hydroelectric power stations.
started work to increase the production of electricity by hydroelectric power
stations, shortly after the decision of the U.S. to stop oil supply to the DPRK.
We have taken technical countermeasures to heighten the output of each generator
and replaced old waterwheels. Workers at power stations are determined to work
harder to make up for the deficiency of productive capacity of electricity at
thermal power stations, to overcome U.S. policy to crush the DPRK.
DPRK is also promoting the innovation and modernization of power transmission
facilities and substations in order to overcome the loss of electricity caused
in the process of transmitting electricity. Every household restricts use of
How did you use 500,000 tons of heavy oil annually supplied by the U.S.?
Supplied heavy oil had been used by thermal power stations in accordance
with the promise made between the DPRK and KEDO. We can completely keep
Ministry of Electricity and Coal Industry sent and distributed heavy oil to
power stations in various areas. There are large-scale thermal power plants in
Chongjin, Unggi, along the River Chongchon, Bukchang and Pyongyang and East
Pyongyang. KEDO also confirm that we distributed heavy oil properly. The
ministry researched the amount of electricity production of each generator and
examined whether the distributed oil was used properly or not.
U.S. says that for past years it had provided 500,000 tons of heavy oil
annually, but the supply had been often behind time. Though there may have been
various conditions under which the U.S. could not deliver heavy oil within a set
period, I think that the delay is a trick of the U.S.
1994, the U.S. promised the DPRK to construct two light water reactors and
provide heavy oil, but it must have made such a promise in anticipation of an
early collapse of the DPRK. We already saw through Washington’s scheme at the
What did officials concerned think about the Geneva Agreed Framework signed
between the DPRK and the U.S. in 1994?
The then U.S. President Bill Clinton sent a letter of assurance for the
agreement of the Geneva accord to General Kim Jong Il. You may say that a U.S.
president cannot tell a lie. But we did not expect too much of what KEDO said it
would do for us.
concerned actively advanced Kim Jong Il’s plan to construct of medium and
small-sized hydroelectric power stations.
fact, the U.S.’s annual supply of 500,000 tons of fuel oil was not sufficient
for supplementing the electricity loss caused by the freeze of our nuclear power
plants. Despite the deficit of electricity, the DPRK side had sincerely followed
the Geneva Agreed Framework. The U.S. stopped the provision of heavy oil to the
DPRK on the pretext of our “approval of nuclear development.” We guessed
that the U.S. would use such duplicity sooner or later.
When will unfreezed nuclear-related facilities in Nyongbyon start to operate?
We will be able to generate electricity in the facilities within a few
weeks. Now we are speeding up our preparations for resuming their operation. We
have to immediately recover the loss of electricity caused by the stop of the
supply of heavy oil.
Ministry of Electricity and Coal Industry is drawing up a definite plan for
electricity supply. The process is now in its final stage. The electricity
generated by the nuclear power station in Nyongbyon will be provided to North
and South Phyong-ang provinces.
media often insist that the nuclear facilities in Nyongbyon are used as
installations to produce nuclear weapons because it has no power-transmission
lines, but such an assertion is nonsense. The Nyongbyon facilities are
installations for electric-power production, which have power-transmission and
power-distribution equipment and transformer substations. The Ministry of
Electricity and Coal Industry is in charge of the Nyongbyon facilities. The IAEA
has already verified in the 1990s that the Nyongbyon nuclear facilities have
electric power transmission lines.
DPRK declared in its governmental statement that the DPRK had no intention to
produce nuclear weapons though it withdrew from the NPT. When former U.S.
President Jimmy Carter visited Pyongyang in July 1994, the late President Kim Il
Sung clearly said to Carter that the DPRK would not develop nuclear weapons.
What do you think about the prospect of the electric-power production in the
We have lived for a long time under the U.S. sanctions. It is an undeniable
fact that we have suffered hardships due to the shortage of oil, but we
constructed lots of small and medium-sized power stations during the difficult
period in the 1990s. The DPRK has bases for producing electricity and recovering
its economy with its own resources.
U.S. has complicated the situation. The U.S. has provoked us by stopping the
provision of heavy oil. The history of the DPRK-U.S. relations in the 1990s
shows that pressure and blockade can never force our people to give in. Sooner
or later, the U.S. will surrender to us. It is just a matter of time.
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