Monday, September 19, 2005

Official says Russia may build nuclear power plant in North Korea


19.09.2005, 19.26

MOSCOW, September 19 (Itar-Tass) - Director of Russia’s Federal Agency for Atomic Energy, Alexander Rumyantsev said Monday Russia might build a nuclear power plant in North Korea.

“Russia is ready to join the project anytime, because it has enough potential and willingness for it,” Rumyantsev said in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass.

He hailed a statement the parties to the six-partite talks on the North Korean nuclear problem and endorsed earlier in the day in Beijing.

“I support diplomatic solutions to all issues at those talks,” Rumyantsev said.

North Korea has pledged to renounce its nuclear weapons program and to revert to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty format.

Other participants in the consultations – South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the U.S. – said they were ready to provide assistance in the energy sector to Pyongyang.

Rumyantsev believes that assistance could be given in the form of building a nuclear plant in North Korea.

“We’ve built a number of nuclear plants abroad, and a project of the same type might be organized there, too,” he indicated.

Rumyantsev warned, however, the parties to the consultations might first decide on what kind of energy assistance North Korea was entitled to.

“Let’s first come to terms on how we’ll act,” he said. “If the diplomats reach agreement, we’ll get the necessary instructions for action, in which we’re highly interested.”

Rumyantsev urged the sides to take a decision as early as possible, since “the problem of a shortage of electric power in North Korea is commonly known.”

He declined to specify technical aspects of a possible plant project.

“Our relations with North Korea were suspended more than a decade ago, and North Koreans didn’t give us access to technical details of their plans,” Rumyantsev indicated.

“We didn’t cooperate with them, and the only way for us to get information was through reports at research conferences,” he said.

“I don’t know if it’s worthwhile completing a plant under the KEDO project or building a new one,” Rumyantsev said.

The KEDO project was launched by the U.S., South Korea and Japan, but its construction was not completed.

Rumyantsev recalled that the participating sides were supposed to supply energy resources to North Korea during the construction period, and it was procrastination with the works that caused the current conflict around the North Korean nuclear program.


Post a Comment

<< Home