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Backgrounder: History of DPRK nuclear issue
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10:50, May 26, 2009

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BEIJING, Aug. 26 -- Talks will be held in Beijing from Wednesday to Friday among the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, Russia, South Korea, Japan and China in an effort to find a peaceful way to solve the long-standing nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

  The nuclear issue emerged in the early 1990s, when the United States, based on its satellite photographs, suspected that the DPRK had facilities for developing nuclear weapons and threatened inspections of them.

  But the DPRK denied that it had the intention or the ability to make nuclear weapons and condemned the United States for deploying such weapons in South Korea.

  From May 1992 to February 1993, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) carried out inspections in the DPRK six times.

  In October 1994, the DPRK signed the Agreed Framework in Geneva with the United States, agreeing to freeze it nuclear program in exchange for the construction of two nuclear reactors by the United States. But before the reactors were built, the United States and its allies should provide fuel oil to the DPRK.

  In October 2002, however, the United States said the DPRK had admitted to US special envoy James Kelly that it had a program to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.

  The nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula thus again drew international attention although the DPRK had never officially admitted the existence of the program.

  In December 2002, the United States stopped shipping fuel oil to the DPRK as promised, charging that the DPRK had violated the Geneva accord.

  The DPRK in turn accused the United States of failing to build the two nuclear reactors before 2003 in accordance with the 1994 accord. It said it believed its sovereignty and security were in jeopardy as the country was put on the list of the "axis of evil" by the United States.

  On Dec. 22, 2002, the DPRK removed from its nuclear complex seals and monitoring cameras placed by the IAEA and planned to reactivate the uranium processing plant.

  On Jan. 10, 2003, it announced its withdrawal from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but said it had no intention to develop nuclear weapons.

  In April 2003, the United States, the DPRK and China held in Beijing three days of talks in Beijing, at which the DPRK submitted a bold proposal for resolving the issue.

  There has been military antagonism on the Korean Peninsula for more than 50 years. The nuclear issue is indeed the legacy of the Cold War. The DPRK has accused the United States as the greatest threat to its national security while the latter insists on the non-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

  The DPRK maintains that the nuclear issue has resulted from the hostile policy of the United States. As long as the United States refuses to give up this policy, it said, the DPRK will not abandon its nuclear program.

  In order to solve the nuclear issue, the DPRK had asked for direct dialogues with the United States and proposed a mutual non-aggression treaty. However, the United States said the DPRK should first abandon its nuclear program and insisted that the proper way to deal with the nuclear issue is multilateral talks. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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