The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
FORMER MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

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Media Release

FA173 - 15 November 2002

KEDO Oil Shipments to North Korea Halted

I support the decision of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) Executive Board to halt all future shipments of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) from December.

This is a regrettable but unavoidable consequence of the DPRK's recent admission that it is engaged in a uranium enrichment program for nuclear weapons.

North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons is in breach of its obligations under the 1994 US-DPRK Agreed Framework, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the South-North Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and other international non-proliferation commitments.

I call on the DPRK to dismantle immediately all nuclear weapons program activities. By doing so, the DPRK stands to benefit in many ways, including through ongoing dialogue, economic cooperation and peaceful relations with its neighbours and greater participation in the international community.

The DPRK should not be rewarded for its bad behaviour. As made clear by the KEDO Board, future shipments will depend on the DPRK taking concrete and credible actions to dismantle completely its highly enriched uranium program.

KEDO was set up under the Agreed Framework to finance and supply a light water reactor project in the DPRK, and provide HFO pending completion of the first light water reactor. In return, the DPRK undertook to freeze its nuclear program and comply with its non-proliferation commitments. Australia is a strong advocate of non-proliferation and a KEDO member.

Media inquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) +61 02 6277 7500 / Lyndall Sachs (Departmental) +61 02 6261 1555


 

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