North Korea update

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
#414
24/06/1994
Article

(June 24 1994) During the last weeks there have been some new developments on the Korean Peninsula. So following an update on the international quarrel over the inspection of the North Korean Yongbyon reactor (see also WISE NC 413.4092 & 411.4072).

(414.4108) WISE Amsterdam -Yun Ho Jin, the North Korean representative to the IAEA, has said his country would "never" allow inspections of two storage sites for nuclear waste at the Yongbyon nuclear complex. Inspection of these sites had been suggested as an alternative way of verifying that no material has been diverted for the manufacture of nuclear arms. Previously, (WISE NC 413) North Korea had already refused the IAEA supervision of the replacement of spent fuel in the experimental reactor of Yongbyon.

In reaction the IAEA has withdrawn its technical assistance to North Korea worth around US$ 270 000. North Korea, in return, said it would expel the last two UN inspectors present in the country (which has not happened yet - June 17).

On June 13th North Korea has with-drawn its membership of the IAEA. It was the first country ever to do this. It has threatened to also withdraw from the non-proliferation treaty if the US don't stop preparing sanctions against it. It has repeatedly made it known that it will consider sanctions against its nuclear program as a declaration of war.

Ex US-president Jimmy Carter went on an unofficial negotiating mission to both Koreas. Carter is, according to CNN, looking for a compromise: North Korea freezes its nuclear program for high level talks with the US. If such talks begin the US will no longer push the UN for sanctions. According to him, the sanctions are not hurting North Korea, it is the fact that sanctions outlaw the country and its leader and make them criminals. Carter achieved that the two remaining IAEA inspectors and the control equipment are allowed to stay in the country. "The crisis is over", he said, but the US administration is not yet In a draft resolution to the UN the US have proposed an arms embargo and a halt on economic, scientific and technological aid.

By not including oil exports and financial transactions in these 'moderate' sanctions they hope to gain the support of South Korea, Russia, China and Japan, who worry about possible North Korean counter measures. In order to allow more time for negotiations the US have proposed to only let the first stage of the sanctions start after a period of thirty days from the acceptance by the Security Council.

Meanwhile North Korea has warned South Korea for a relentless war if negotiations are not successful. Preparations for war have been going on in both countries for a while. convinced. It is unclear how far his initiative difference from the position of the Clinton administration; it is a private initiative of Carter who was invited personally by North Korea.

Sources:

  • Trouw (NL), 2 to 17 June, 1994
  • CNN, 19 June 1994