U.S.-led consortium scraps project to build power-generating nuclear reactors for North Korea

A U.S.-led international energy consortium has scrapped a project to build power-generating nuclear reactors for North Korea, a news report said Wednesday.

The decision came at the end of a board meeting in New York of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, or KEDO, Kyodo News agency said.

KEDO's executive board members are the United States, South Korea, Japan and the European Union.

The two light-water reactors a type less easily used for weapons-related purposes were a reward to the communist state for agreeing to freeze and ultimately dismantle its nuclear program under a 1994 deal with the United States.

The US$4.6 billion (Ђ3.78 billion) project, however, was suspended in 2003 amid a renewed crisis over the North's nuclear ambitions. New York-based KEDO, which is manager of the project, has continued to hold occasional board meetings.

KEDO's board members have differed over what to do with the stalled project. The United States has apparently favored terminating it while South Korea and Japan have supported putting it on hold out of concerns termination may aggravate nuclear tension by angering the North, AP reports. P.T.

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