Announcement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka concerning the Resumption of Japan's Cooperation with KEDO
October 21, 1998
- In reaction to North Korea's missile launch, the Government of Japan laid out, in an announcement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary on September 1st, a series of measures which it would take resolutely so as to respond severely to North Korea. These measures included the suspension of cooperation with the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) for the time being.
- Taking the following points into consideration, the Government of Japan has decided to resume its cooperation with KEDO and to sign today (October 21st) a KEDO Executive Board resolution concerning the cost-sharing of the light-water reactor project.
(1) First, KEDO is the most realistic and effective framework through which to prevent North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. From Japan's viewpoint, there are no realistic alternatives apart from KEDO and the "Agreed Framework" (*) which can prevent North Korea's development of nuclear weapons.
We must not give North Korea an excuse for resuming its development of nuclear weapons by undermining KEDO and the "Agreed Framework". Since the end of September, North Korea has resumed the canning of spent fuel rods in accordance with the "Agreed Framework". Japan considers it extremely important for its security to ensure that North Korea adheres to the "Agreed Framework" without reversing these actions, and thereby to prevent North Korea's nuclear development.
(*) The "Agreed Framework" includes the stipulation that North Korea should freeze its graphite-moderated reactors, and eventually dismantle them in exchange for the provision by the U.S. of two light-water reactors and 500,000 tons of heavy fuel oil as substitute energy each year until the completion of the first light-water reactor.
(2) Second, Japan's response to the missile launch by North Korea is having certain effects. The announcement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary on September 1st was a clear message to North Korea. In addition, Japan maintains close cooperation with the U.S., the R.O.K. and others. Japan has conveyed its concern about North Korea directly to that country as well as through the U.S. at general talks between the U.S. and North Korea, U.S.-D.P.R.K. Talks on Terrorism (Sept. 28), U.S.-D.P.R.K. Talks on Missiles (Oct. 1-2), etc. Furthermore, Japan's position has gained broad understanding and support in the international community as witnessed in the oral press statement by the President of the United Nations Security Council (Sept. 15), the resolution of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly (Oct. 2), the Chairman's Statement of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) (Oct. 9), etc. (3) Third, cooperation among Japan, the R.O.K. and the U.S. remains extremely important in dealing with North Korea. Both the U.S. and the R.O.K. are striving to make progress in work related to KEDO and have asked for Japan's understanding on the importance of signing the KEDO Executive Board resolution without delay. From the viewpoint of maintaining and strengthening its strategic cooperative relationship with the U.S. and the R.O.K., Japan needs to consider signing the KEDO Executive Board resolution referred to above.
- The entire background of the resumption of Japan's cooperation with KEDO is given in the foregoing. There should be no misunderstanding on the part of North Korea about this. The Government of Japan intends to maintain the measures given in the announcement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary on September 1st other than that on KEDO. Japan calls upon North Korea once again to work constructively on various bilateral issues including the issues of missiles and North Korea's suspected nuclear arms development.
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