North Korea Decries US Power Plant Delay : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Nando Times

North Korea decries U.S. over power-plant delay

The Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (November 26, 2000 10:43 p.m. EST - North Korea on Sunday denounced the United States for a delay in building two nuclear power plants in the communist nation.

In 1994, Washington, fearful that the North Koreans were working on nuclear weapons, signed an agreement with Pyongyang in which the North agreed to freeze its nuclear program.

In return, a U.S.-led international consortium is building two nuclear reactors worth $4.6 billion in North Korea. Washington promised to build the first light-water reactor by 2003, but officials now say that a delay of several years is inevitable.

North Korea says the delay caused a huge loss of badly needed electricity.

"The United States is wholly to blame for the delay of the project," said the Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper for the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, in a commentary.

By dragging on the project, Washington is trying to "weaken (North Korea's) economic and military potentials and watch for a chance to stifle (North Korea) by force of arms."

The North's outdated Soviet-designed, graphite-moderated reactors can be used to extract weapons-grade uranium, a key ingredient for making atomic bombs, experts say.

The Korean peninsula was divided into communist North Korea and pro-Western South Korea in 1945. The United States fought on the South Korean side during the 1950-53 Korean War and still keeps 37,000 troops in the South under a defense treaty.

-- Rachel Gibson (, November 26, 2000

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