The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Friday said
it will suspend the operation of its nuclear facilities as soon as
the aid it has been promised arrived.
"The DPRK is now earnestly examining even the issue of
suspending the operation of its nuclear facilities earlier than
expected, that is from the moment the first shipment of heavy oil
equivalent to one-tenth of the total quantity is made," the
official Korean Central News Agency quoted a Foreign Ministry
spokesman as saying.
This is the first time that the DPRK has officially announced
when it will shut down its Yongbyon nuclear facilities.
But it warned that it will have to resume the activity of
nuclear facilities if the promised economic and political payoffs
are not be fulfilled.
"The DPRK may not trust them if steps are not taken to make
political and economic compensation as promised, even after it has
taken to suspend the operation of its nuclear facilities," said the
"In that case, the resumption of its nuclear activity will
assume legitimate nature," he added.
The DPRK urged the other countries involved in the six-party talks on its nuclear program -
China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States - to
deliver the aid they had promised.
"Other participating countries are also obliged to hasten the
preparations for honoring their commitments including energy aid
amounting to 950,000 tons of heavy oil, the remaining quantity to
be provided," said the spokesman, referring to a deal signed at the
six-party talks in February.
"The agreement should be honored not only by the DPRK but by all
the countries participating in the six-party talks on the principle
action for action," he added.
South Korea confirmed Thursday it will start sending the first
shipment of heavy fuel oil to DPRK next Thursday in accordance with
the February13 agreement designed to solve the nuclear standoff on
the Korean Peninsula.
In the February agreement, Pyongyang pledged to shut down the
Yongbyon reactor within 60 days in exchange for 50,000 tons of
heavy fuel oil or equivalent aid.
However, the denuclearization process was held up when the DPRK
insisted that its US$25 million in fund frozen by the United States
at the Banco Delta Asia in Macao be returned first.
On Monday the DPRK said its demand had been met and it was ready
to honor its commitment.
(Xinhua News Agency July 7, 2007)