Tracking Number:  418286

Title:  Representatives of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization signed an agreement which codifies the non-proliferation goals of the North Korea-US Agreed Framework. WH Report. (951215)

Date:  19951215

WHITE HOUSE REPORT, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15 (N. Korea-KEDO agreement) (490) NEWS BRIEFING -- Daniel Poneman, senior director at the National Security Council (NSC) for non-proliferation and export controls, answered questions on the following topic:

SIGNING OF NORTH KOREAN LIGHT-WATER REACTOR SUPPLY AGREEMENT Poneman said representatives of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) signed an agreement in New York December 15 which codifies the non-proliferation goals of the October 1994 DPRK-U.S. Agreed Framework.

"It is a very practical step," he said, as well as "a legally binding instrument" between North Korea and the international organization KEDO, which is comprised of South Korean, Japan and the United States. The latest agreement, Poneman pointed out, brings North Korea "back into the fold of countries compliant with international nuclear norms."

The NSC official told reporters at the White House the agreement codifies the "same non-proliferation commitments which were the core" of the Agreed Framework, including the continuation of the freeze on North Korea's five megawatt reactor and the two reactors which were under construction.

It also binds North Korea "to come into full compliance with all IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) mandated requirements," Poneman explained, "before any significant nuclear components are shipped into North Korea after a substantial portion" of the light-weight reactor (LWR) project is completed.

Cooperation will now continue, he said, with the initiation of a site survey, spent fuel re-canning operations, and the full implementation of the Agreed Framework. KEDO will prove two LWR units to North Korea on a turnkey basis, with the goal of a delivery date in 2003.

In turn, North Korea has agreed to continue to be a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to permit implementation of its safeguards agreement under the NPT. In addition to other measures, North Korea will come into full compliance with its IAEA safeguards agreement when "a significant portion" of the LWR project is completed but before the key nuclear components are delivered.

Asked about North Korea's nuclear weapons status, Poneman said the United States has never been able to say with any confidence that it doesn't have any nuclear weapons. "We believe that North Korea may have separated enough plutonium" before the Agreed Framework was in place, he said, "for, perhaps, one or two nuclear weapons. We have no knowledge beyond that as to what use they have made of that."

However, since the agreement has been in place, Poneman stressed, North Korea has not been able "to separate one additional nanogram of plutonium."

On the subject of financing the agreement, the NSC official said the Clinton administration has asked Congress for $22 million in funding to support the agreement with North Korea. "Our expectation," he said, "is that this is the level of annual resources that we would need to sustain our part of this deal."


File Identification:  12/15/95, POL501; 12/15/95, AEF511; 12/15/95, EUR501; 12/15/95, LEF516; 12/15/95, NEA502
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Thematic Codes:   1AC
Target Areas:  AF; EU; AR; NE
PDQ Text Link:  418286
USIA Notes:  *95121501.POL