S Korea offers North energy aid
Jul 12, 2005 - BBC Monitoring
|North Korea badly needs more
South Korea has offered huge amounts of free electricity
to North Korea as an incentive to end its nuclear
Seoul is proposing to lay power lines across the
Korean border, as an alternative to a US-brokered
nuclear power deal which collapsed in 2002.
The offer came as diplomats prepared to resume six-nation
talks on the North's nuclear programme later this
Earlier, South Korea said it was sending the North
500,000 metric tons of rice to help avert a food crisis.
South Korean Unification Minister Chung Dong-young
told a news conference that the power proposal would
supply the same amount of electricity that the North
would have received if two light-water reactors being
built by an international consortium in the 1990s
had been completed.
|N KOREA'S ENERGY DEALS
|N Korea agreed to mothball its
nuclear reactors in a 1994 deal
In return, it was to receive two 1,000MW light-water
Deal collapsed in 2002 over enriched uranium programme
The North later restarted its Yongbyon reactor
S Korea now offering 2,000MW of electricity aid
. That deal, known as the Agreed Framework, collapsed
after Pyongyang allegedly admitted to the US in 2002
that it had a secret, enriched uranium programme.
The proposed power lines would provide the North
with 2m kilowatts of electricity a year from the South's
own power grid, and would be ready by 2008.
The power being offered is equivalent to the output
of two large power stations and would help towards
redressing North Korea's serious energy shortage.
But Mr Chung appealed for co-operation from other
parties. He said the North also needed security guarantees
if it was to sign up to any deal on giving up its
The US gave vague assurances of security and economic
aid at the last round of negotiations last year, but
it was not enough to win over North Korea.
The BBC's Charles Scanlon in Seoul says the South
Korean government has since seized the initiative,
fearing that the confrontation between Pyongyang and
Washington could escalate.
Seoul is worried that if the North were to collapse,
it could be flooded with millions of hungry North
Diplomatic efforts are gathering pace ahead of the
next round of North Korean nuclear talks.
China's top envoy, Tang Jiaxuan, was expected in
North Korea on Tuesday, and US Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice has arrived in Seoul.
Speaking in Tokyo, earlier on Tuesday, she called
on the North to make a "strategic decision" to give
up its nuclear weapons. S
outh Korea has also agreed to ship half a million
tons of badly needed food aid to its northern neighbour.
he UN's World Food Programme raised the alarm about
food shortages in the North earlier this year, saying
there was a cereals gap up to October 2005 of 900,000
South Korea is one of the largest single donors of
aid to the secretive communist state. It is the South's
biggest donation to the North since 2000.
However, South Korea has repeatedly stated that full-scale
aid as well as commercial exchanges are impossible
as long as the nuclear issue is not resolved.
The UN World Food Programme is currently feeding
some 6.5m North Koreans - nearly a third of the population.