Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Thursday, August 08, 2002
Ceremony Held to Mark Sart of DPRK Reactor Project
About 100 people, including officials of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), attended the concrete-pouring ceremony to mark the start of a landmark reactor project in Kumho, DPRK's South Hamgyong Province.
A ceremony was held in Kumho, DPRK Wednesday to mark the start of construction work on a landmark reactor project.
About 100 people, including officials of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), attended the concrete-pouring ceremony in Kumho, South Hamgyong Province.
Among the attendants were KEDO Executive Director Charles Kartman, and KEDO board members Chang Sun Dup of South Korea, Katsunari Suzuki of Japan, and J.P. Leng of the European Union.
U.S. special envoy for negotiations with DPRK, Jack Pritchard also attended. He is the first high-ranking official to visit DPRK since U.S. President George W. Bush took office in January last year.
During the ceremony, Pritchard called on DPRK to accept inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) immediately.
KEDO is in charge of building the two light-water reactors under a 1994 U.S.-DPRK agreement.
The Agreed Framework specifies that DPRK will freeze its weaponry program in exchange for two light-water nuclear reactors to generate electricity that would replace the country's plutonium-producing reactors, whose fuel can be converted into weaponry.
The reactor project is financed primarily by South Korea, Japan, the U.S. and the European Union.
The event comes on the heels of fresh diplomatic developments among North and South Korea, Japan and the U.S.
The construction of the two nuclear reactors was initially to be completed by 2003, but it has been delayed considerably.
Completion of any reactors is now unlikely before 2008.