On October 21, 1994, after sixteen months of negotiations, the United States and North Korea signed an Agreed Framework that will help achieve a long-standing and vital U.S. objective: an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula and provides the basis for more normal relations between North Korea and the rest of the world.
This Agreed Framework not only serves the interests of the United States, but those of our allies, South Korea and Japan, as well. It will contribute to greater security in Northeast Asia and to our efforts to end nuclear proliferation globally.
It will bring the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) into full compliance with its non-proliferation obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The DPRK affirms its NPT member status and commits to allow implementation of its IAEA safeguards agreement.
When fully implemented, the Agreed Framework will terminate the existing North Korean nuclear program. For now, that program will be frozen under IAEA supervision, and eventually it will be dismantled.
It ensures safe disposition of spent nuclear fuel now in North Korea. The DPRK will forego reprocessing and instead will safely store and eventually ship the fuel out of country. Both of these steps go beyond any obligations incurred under the NPT.
The DPRK will accept whatever inspections or other steps deemed necessary by the IAEA before it receives any nuclear components for a Light Water Reactor (LWR).
The Agreed Framework addresses the following concerns about the North Korean nuclear program with respect to past activities, current activities and future activities.
With respect to the present, North Korea has a 5 MW(e) reactor that produced plutonium in the past as well as the spent fuel now in a storage pond which, if reprocessed, would produce 25-30 kilograms of plutonium. North Korea also has a reprocessing facility.
Under the terms of the Agreed Framework, the North's current nuclear program is frozen: the 5 MW reactor will not restart; the reprocessing facility will be sealed and not operated again; the spent fuel which came from the 5 MW reactor will stay in the pond. The U.S. and DPRK wig cooperate in safely storing the spent fuel and subsequently disposing of it in a manner that does not involve reprocessing in the DPRK.
These measures address our concerns about the potential for further separation of plutonium from spent fuel and further production of plutonium in the 5 MW reactor. All these provisions will be monitored by the IAEA.
With respect to the future, the North Korean nuclear program includes two large gas graphite reactors now under construction, one rated at 50 MW(e) and the other at 200 MW(e). If those reactors were to be completed, they would produce hundreds of kilograms of plutonium a year.
The construction of those reactors will be frozen and along with related facilities currently existing in North Korea, including the reprocessing facility, will be dismantled over the course of construction of the Light Water Reactor (LWR) project. That is to say, the 5 MW reactor, the reprocessing facility, the 50 MW and 200 MW reactors all will be dismantled. In addition, the DPRK has agreed not to build any other graphite-moderated reactors or related facilities in the future.
Dismantlement of the frozen graphite-moderated reactors and related facilities is paced to the LWR project such that dismantlement will begin when the first LWR unit is completed and end when the second /LWR unit is completed.
In addition, the spent nuclear fuel in the pond will be shipped out of North Korea. The shipment of spent fuel from the DPRK will begin when significant nuclear components start to be delivered for the first LWR. The fuel must be completely shipped out of North Korea by the time the first LWR is completed.
The Agreed Framework does not rely on trust; rather, all of these steps will be verifiable. The question of what North Korea did in the past can be resolved by the IAEA only if the IAEA has access to information in sites that it needs. Under the Agreed Framework, that access will be provided. The DPRK has agreed to the implementation of its full-scope safeguards agreement and whatever the IAEA deems necessary to resolve questions about past activities.
Implementation of that portion of the Agreed Framework takes place over time, but must be completed before significant nuclear components of the first LWR to be constructed in North Korea are delivered.
That is, before any nuclear components are delivered for the first LWR, the question of North Korea's past activities and North Korea's full compliance with its IAEA safeguards obligations will be resolved.
If the LWR project is to proceed beyond that point, special inspections must be conducted if requested by the IAEA. While we would prefer to have them conducted earlier, there is no technical disadvantage or risk in delaying inspections of the two radioactive waste sites.
The Agreed Framework provides that in return for the freezing and dismantling of its present nuclear program, North Korea will receive assistance from the international community in achieving legitimate energy objectives.
The U.S. will lead an international consortium, tentatively called the Korean Energy Development Organization (KEDO), which will oversee construction of two 1,000 MW light water reactors of proliferation-resistant design in the DPRK over the next decade.
Light-Water Reactors are more proliferation-resistant than North Korea's graphite-moderated reactors. The kind of plutonium in spent LWR fuel is much less useful in fabricating nuclear weapons, and because LWRs must shut down to refuel, non-diversion of LWR nuclear fuel can be verified more easily.
Even though the U.S. will take the lead in coordinating the consortium's work, the reactors will be largely financed and constructed by the Republic of Korea, with help from Japan and presumably other countries as well.
The Agreed Framework also provides that the energy needs of North Korea that would have been met by the frozen and dismantled nuclear reactors are to be addressed by the international community.
To compensate the DPRK for loss of energy production from not operating its 5 MW reactor and from abandoning the 50 MW and 200 MW reactors under construction, the consortium will provide the North 500,000 tons of heavy fuel oil annually for use in a specific power plant (50,000 tons in the first three months, and 150,000 tons in the first year of the agreement).
Most of the funding for this will come from other consortium members, although the U.S. plans to contribute approximately 5 million dollars to this effort by arranging for the first 50,000 ton shipment of heavy fuel oil.
The Agreed Framework shuts down North Korea's plutonium production immediately and, over time, ships out all spent fuel and dismantles the graphite-moderated system. Incentives provided to the DPRK by the U.S. and the international community are in return for these actions. For example, because North Korea agreed to terminate and dismantle its indigenous nuclear effort -- undertakings well beyond its NPT obligations -- we agreed, with the cooperation of other concerned countries, to help it meet a consequential shortfall in electricity production. They are not a "bribe" to North Korea for taking those actions it needed to take under its NPT and IAEA safeguards obligations.
The Agreed Framework will help integrate Pyongyang into the economic and political mainstream of East Asia.
The U.S. and the DPRK will establish liaison offices in each other's capitals, something that wig help us oversee implementation of this agreement and open a channel to deal with other issues that concern us. Establishment of liaison offices will take place as issues, for example, with respect to consular activity and access, are resolved. There is also a commitment on the part of the U.S. and DPRK to move to full diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level as other issues of concern are resolved. The Agreed Framework does not specify a time frame for these actions to take place.
We plan to reduce economic and financial restrictions selectively on U.S. citizens' dealings with the DPRK, in close consultation with the Congress.
We will provide a "negative security assurance." It would pledge us not to use nuclear weapons against North Korea as long as it remains a member in good standing of the NPT regime. (We have provided similar assurances to other parties to the NPT.)
This Agreed Framework attains all our goals, including the North's commitment to pursue South-North dialogue, without which there can be no permanent resolution of questions of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea also will take steps to implement the North-South joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
We consulted with our allies, South Korea and Japan, at every stage of the negotiations including frequent conversations between the President and President Kim Young Sam. Korea and Japan's strong support has been essential to the success of the talks with North Korea.
As the President has stated on many occasions, our commitment to the security of the Republic of Korea remains unshakable.