BenzWorld Senior Member
Date registered: Sep 2004
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In the aftermath of this open contention, the administration soon made its decision: the United States, with the concurrence of the ROK and Japan, opted to suspend further heavy-fuel-oil deliveries to the DPRK.80 This decision proved fateful. A week later Pyongyang declared that the Agreed Framework had collapsed, arguing that the deliveries were the only portion of the agreement that the United States had ever carried out.81 An IAEA resolution of 29 November urging the North's immediate compliance with its nonproliferation obligations was brusquely rejected in a 2 December letter from Foreign Minister Paik Nam Soon to Mohamed ElBaradei, general director of the IAEA Board of Governors.82 On 12 December, the DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman, claiming acute energy shortages following suspension of the fuel oil shipments, declared that the North would end its commitment to the Agreed Framework, restart operations at its mothballed nuclear facilities, and resume construction of the larger reactors suspended in 1994.83
Had its ongoing activities not been halted, North Korea would have ultimately developed the means to fabricate significant numbers of nuclear weapons.
The 12 December announcement initiated a succession of audacious, unilateral actions that in a matter of weeks began to roll back much of North Korea's eight years of nuclear restraint. In rapid succession, North Korea requested on 13 December that the IAEA withdraw its seals and cameras from the DPRK's declared facilities; stated on 19 December that the Agreed Framework now existed "in name only"; removed or otherwise disabled the locks and monitoring equipment at the reactor, cooling pond, fuel fabrication plant, and reprocessing facility-all between 21 and 24 December; announced the intended expulsion of the IAEA inspectors on 27 December, even as the inspectors reported that two thousand fresh fuel rods had already been loaded into the reactor; and notified the IAEA of its intention to reactivate its fuel reprocessing facility within several months, purportedly to ensure the safety of spent fuel rods that would be removed and stored following their use in the reactivated reactor and (once completed) in the larger reactors, where construction was expected to resume.
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