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Oil shipments to N Korea frozen

A satellite photo shows North Korea's suspected nuclear facility at Yongbyon
A satellite photo shows North Korea's suspected nuclear facility at Yongbyon

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Special Report: The two Koreas 

1994 agreement
North Korea promised to give up its nuclear weapons program and allow inspections to verify that it did not have the material such weapons would require. The country has yet to allow the inspections.
N. Korea nuclear facts
  • North Korea launched a medium-range "test" missile over Japan in 1998.
  • The 1994 Agreed Framework was signed by North Korea with the Clinton administration.
  • In return, an international consortium is building new nuclear reactors in North Korea.
  • NEW YORK (CNN) -- The United States and its East Asian and European allies have voted to suspend crucial oil shipments to North Korea.

    The international consortium charged with implementing a 1994 energy agreement with North Korea agreed Thursday to suspend fuel oil deliveries to the Communist nation after Pyongyang's revelation last month it has a secret nuclear weapons program.

    In a statement, the executive board of the Korean Energy Development Organization (KEDO) -- which consists of the United States, South Korea, Japan and the European Union -- said it condemned North Korea's pursuit of a nuclear weapons program, which violates its obligations under the 1994 "Agreed Framework."

    "This program threatens regional and international security and undermines the international nonproliferation regime based on the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty)," the statement said.

    "North Korea must promptly eliminate its nuclear weapons in a visible and verifiable manner." (Full statement)

    The fuel oil shipments will be suspended beginning in December, the consortium said.

    "Future shipments will depend on North Korea's concrete and credible actions to dismantle completely its highly enriched uranium program," the statement said. "In this light, other KEDO activities with North Korea will be reviewed."

    Earlier Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell called on KEDO to stop the shipments.

    "North Korea has to end this program that we discovered to enrich uranium," Powell said in a news conference after meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham.

    "We cannot continue to provide fuel in this manner in light of the North Korean violation of the understanding," the secretary said.

    However, Powell said, a shipment that left Singapore on November 6 with 42,800 metric tons of fuel oil and scheduled to arrive in North Korea next week will be allowed to continue.

    "We believe it was appropriate and prudent to send in this shipment, which is already on the high seas and is only a few days away from docking," he said.

    In agreeing to the 1994 framework on non-proliferation, North Korea said it would freeze its nuclear weapons program in exchange for 500,000 metric tons of fuel oil a year and two light-water nuclear reactors that cannot easily be converted to military use.

    -- CNN Producer Ronni Berke contributed to this report



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