RealNews

N. Korean Reactor Project May End

The international consortium building two nuclear reactors to provide energy to North Korea is likely to agree today to suspend the project, effectively killing it, U.S. and Asian officials said yesterday. Terminating the reactor project — centerpiece of a 1994 deal by the Clinton administration to freeze North Korea’s nuclear weapons capabilities — has long been a goal of key members of the Bush administration. But the move has been resisted by its partners in the project, particularly South Korea, who argued that ending or even suspending it would needlessly rile North Korea and escalate the crisis over its nuclear weapons ambitions. Construction of the light-water reactors thus has continued even though Pyongyang disclosed last year it had violated the Clinton accord, quit the nuclear nonproliferation treaty and announced it was building nuclear weapons. More than $1.4 billion has been spent pouring the concrete for the facilities and building housing and recreation facilities for hundreds of construction workers, although it never reached the stage where North Korea received sensitive equipment. Full Story

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