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North Korea Demands Compensation For Losses Of Light-Water Reactor

File photo of one of two unfinished light-water reactors in North Korea.

Seoul (AFP) Nov 28, 2005
North Korea on Monday demanded compensation from the United States for losses caused by the scrapping of a project to build two light-water reactors for the Stalinist state.

The reactors are about one-third completed and more than one billion dollars has been sunk in the project.

North Korea accused the United States of breaking its word and causing economic distress to North Korea.

"Now that the construction of the LWRs (light-water reactors) came to a final stop, the DPRK (North Korea) is compelled to blame the US for having overturned the AF (Agreed Framework) and demand it compensate for the political and economic losses it has caused to the former," a foreign ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by the official Korean Central News Agency.

Construction of the reactors, started as part of a 1994 deal dubbed the Agreed Framework, has been in limbo ever since Washington accused Pyongyang in October 2002 of violating the accord by running a separate nuclear programme.

The project was officially scrapped last week by the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), the body formed to administer the light-water project and made up of the United States, South Korea, Japan and the European Union.

"The US has thus completely pulled out of the AF (Agreed Framework), causing huge economic losses to the DPRK (North Korea)," the unidentified spokesman was quoted as saying.

Under the Agreed Framework, North Korea promised to freeze its nuclear facilities in return for the construction of two light-water reactors at a cost of some five billion dollars.

Using the collapse of the 1994 deal as an example, North Korea said its current strategy at six-party talks to resolve its nuclear standoff with the outside world was justified.

Following five rounds of talks, North Korea has agreed to dismantle its nuclear weapons programmes. However, it is insisting that the new light-water reactors be constructed before it moves on its pledge.

"All the facts go to clearly prove that the DPRK was quite just when it demanded the US abide by the principle of simultaneous actions in handling the issue of the latter's provision of LWRs and the former's abandonment of its nuclear program, a physical groundwork for building confidence between the two countries," the spokesman said.

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Tehran (UPI) Nov 28, 2005
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