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N. Korea-US nuclear agreement

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 

(January 19, 1996) North Korea and KEDO, a U.S.-led consortium, signed finally the agreement to build two 1000MW Pressurized light-water reactors (PWRs) in North Korea. An Agreed Framework Agreement about the delivery of the two reactors was signed in October 1994 in Geneva, after an international crisis that emerged after North Korea formally withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in March 1993.

(445.4409) WISE-Amsterdam - Pyongyang suspended its decision in June 1993, but was widely believed to be using its graphite-moderated reactors to produce weapons-grade plutonium, which is more difficult to extract at light-water reactors. (see also WISE NC 415/6.4125)

The reactors, to be built with financial and technical contributions from more than 20 countries, including the United States, South Korea and Japan, will be completed by 2003. The now signed agreement includes selection of sites, training and problems dealing with maintenance, nuclear safety and regulations and intellectual property. Many of the technical details still remain to be worked out, including the selection of a US engineering contractor to oversee construction.

A geological survey team is expected to visit North Korea in January or February to prepare for the construction of two light-water nuclear reactors, a Seoul Foreign Ministry official said. The 20-member team will represent the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), an international consortium led by South Korea, the United States and Japan that signed the $4.5 billion deal to replace Pyongyang's graphite reactors. The survey team will include 17 South Koreans and enter North Korea from Beijing and will focus on the possible impact of an earthquake on Shinpo, the proposed reactor site.

Two containers of equipment to be used for the study left the South Korean port of Pusan on January 14 for the port of Shinpo in North Korea, the official said.


  • Reuter 15 & 28 Dec 1995, 9 Jan 1996
  • Trouw (NL) 15 Jan 1996

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