The USA and EU plan to cut fuel deliveries to North Korea
The USA, South Korea, Japan, and the European Union decided to stop the deliveries of fuel to North Korea starting with December of the current year. As is well-known, the North Korean leadership has recently informed the USA about its nuclear programs, as well as about a program pertaining to the development of chemical and biological weapons.
Representatives of those countries held a session within the scope of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, or KEDO. As a result, it was decided to leave North Korea without any fuel on the threshold of winter. The mentioned organization controls the implementation of the treaty of 1994. Pursuant to that treaty, North Korea gets 500 thousand tons of oil each year. In return, Korea promised to stop the development of nuclear weapons.
Diplomats agreed that recent 42 thousand tons of fuel that were shipped to North Korea, would be the last batch of fuel. The participants of the session approved the statement, in which it was said that future deliveries of fuel to North Korea would depend on certain, confidence-initiating actions of Pyongyang concerning the complete liquidation of its nuclear program.
Nevertheless, the allies were not unanimous on this issue. North Korea’s closest neighbors, South Korea and Japan, offered to deliver a certain quantity of fuel to the poorest northern areas of North Korea. South Korea and Japan believe that the cessation of fuel deliveries will not stop North Korea from the development of its uranium program. It is vice versa, actually: Kim Jong-il might order to resume the works on another program, a plutonium enrichment program, which is much more dangerous for its neighbors. However, Americans and Europeans insisted on their claim: if North Korea has uranium, then it means that the country will not have petroleum products.
As a matter of fact, the government of North Korea wants only one thing from the United States: legal guarantees of no aggression. The North Korean government has already suggested stopping its nuclear program if the USA agrees to sign such a peace-treaty with it. However, the United States perceives such suggestion as blackmail, making the countries of the “axis of evil” find themselves in a more awkward situation.
Moscow was sorry to learn of anti-Korean plans of the American Congress. Alexander Yakovenko, an official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, stated in an interview to Echo of Moscow radio station: “We think that such a decision will not help to get rid of a serious concern, which came up recently in connection with a possible non-execution of the non-proliferation treaty on the Koran peninsula.” According to Yakovenko’s opinion, Russia believes that all these problems should be settled with the help of a dialogue between the interested sides, the USA and North Korea, first and foremost.
Anyway, North Korea is still in need of fuel oil and other kinds of petroleum products. It will find them somewhere. This means that Russia will have to deliver oil to North Korea. Otherwise, the Korean market will be occupied by other exporters of oil. It goes without saying that the USA will keep placing pressure on them. However, there will always be a lot of ways to sell oil with someone else’s help. Furthermore, Russia and North Korea signed an agreement for the development of the oil transports and cooperation. It would be stupid not to fulfil it. At the end of the day, the USA is not happy with Russia’s nuclear cooperation with Iran, but Russia continues. To crown it all, this rift between North Korea and the USA happened at a moment when mutually beneficial economic projects came up for Russia and North Korea.
Akhtyam Akhtyrov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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