Seoul continues to finance the construction of a new nuclear power plant in North Korea

The government of South Korea continues to finance the construction of a nuclear power plant in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) despite the crisis connected with Pyongyang's nuclear programme.

As a RIA Novosti correspondent was told by telephone in the Ministry of Unification of the Republic of Korea, as of the end of April Seoul has spent over 850 million dollars on financing this project.

Earlier it was reported that the construction of the nuclear power plant had been frozen because of the resumption of Pyongyang's old nuclear programme and the crisis in its relations with the United States.

According to the data of the South Korean Ministry of Unification, about 320 million dollars have been given by Japan and 17.6 million dollars - by the European Union.

Altogether over 4.2 billion dollars will have to be spent on the construction of the new nuclear power plant, which is to replace the old experimental reactor in Yongbyon. As was reported by the Seoul news agency YONHAP, out of this sum South Korea has to pay 3.2 billion dollars and Japan - one billion.

The nuclear power plant is being built in the North Korean district of Sinpho by the international consortium, which has been set up under the aegis of the United States at the time of the presidency of Bill Clinton. The nuclear power plant will be equipped with two light-water reactors which make it impossible to receive weapons-grade plutonium. However, the George W. Bush government is trying to fully deprive North Korea of the right to use and to produce atomic energy.

According to the framework American-North Korean agreement of 1994, this nuclear power plant had to be built by 2003, but it proved to be impossible to complete the work in this period. And that was one of the reasons why the DPRK resumed its previous nuclear experiments.

According to the data of the South Korean government, as of the end of April, only 30.45 percent of the construction was completed. The construction is being carried out by 604 workers and engineers from South Korea, 353 - from Uzbekistan and by 99 North Korean workers.

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