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KEDO cuts oil flow
AFAR
11/15/2002

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China and Japan:
 
In response to Pyongyang’s illegal and continued nuclear weapons development program, the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) has decided that December will mark its last heavy fuel oil shipment to North Korea. North Korea has severely violated the 1994 Agreed Framework, under which the US would supply Korea annually with light water reactors and 500,000 tons of heavy fuel oil in exchange for Korea’s freeze on its nuclear development program. Without KEDO’s oil supply and a possible complete suspension of the 1994 Agreed Framework, Pyongyang could easily face a fifteen plus percent reduction in its power supply, triggering the closing of factories, and worsening the country’s economy. KEDO has stated its concern that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program threatens stability in the region, and it is in danger of breaching the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

The only way to continue the oil flow would be for North Korea to make an official statement to abandon its nuclear program, and to resume dialogue with the leading countries of KEDO -- the United States, South Korea, Japan, and the European Union. Washington is keeping close watch on Pyongyang, for any signs that it will freeze its nuclear program. Insiders commend KEDO’s action, saying that the close cooperation between related countries is the best solution to resolving the nuclear issue while maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula. They say North Korea’s immediate abandonment of it nuclear program is the only way it could receive the assistance it wants from the international community.

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