If North Korea Has Uranium, It Does Not Have Fuel

The USA and EU cut fuel deliveries to North Korea over its nuclear program

The USA, South Korea, Japan and the European Union decided to stop the deliveries of fuel oil to North Korea from December of the current year. As it is well-known, the North Korean leadership has recently informed the USA about its nuclear programs, as well as about the 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 ever year. In return, Korea promised to refuse from the development of nuclear weapon.

Diplomats agreed that 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. S.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, plutonium enrichment  program, which is way more dangerous for the neighbors. However, Americans and Europeans insisted on their claim: if North Korea has uranium, then it means that the country does not have petroleum products.

As a matter of fact, the government of North Korea wants only one thing from the United States: the legal guarantees of no aggression. N.Korean government has already suggested  to refuse from the nuclear program, if the USA agreed to sign such a treaty with it. However, the United States perceived such suggestion as blackmail, making the countries of the “axis of evil” find themselves in a more awkward situation.

Moscow was sorry to know about 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 would not help to get rid of the 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 those problems should be settled down 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 on showing 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 transport and oil 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 keeps on doing it. To crown it all, the relations between North Korea and the USA happened at the moment, when mutually beneficial economic projections came up for Russia and North Korea.

Akhtyam Akhtyrov

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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Author`s name Olga Savka