North Korea: Nuclear Issues

Kalpana Chittaranjan, Researcher, IDSA


Indian officials detained the North Korean ship Ku Wol San at Kandla port in Gujarat during the recent Kargil conflict between India and Pakistan on June 25, 1999. The officials, who belonged to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), detained the ship due to suspicion about its contents. It was found that 177 packages1 contained missile parts which included machinery, blueprints, and parts for developing and building missiles. If the ship had not berthed at Kandla to unload 13, 000 tonnes of sugar imported from Bangkok by an Indian trader, the ship would have gone on straight to Karachi harbour to deliver the dangerous cargo which was due for delivery in Pakistan. The incident, apart from revealing Pakistan's steady building up of its defences with supplies of armoury from other countries and its heavy dependence on external supplies for crucial components of its missiles, some of which could be nuclear weapons, also offers a glimpse of the scale and extent of nuclear and missile proliferation taking place worldwide, with countries (like North Korea) which have perfected their nuclear technology sending their end products to countries like Pakistan. It was not for the first time that North Korea was supplying nuclear material to Pakistan. In the latter part of last year, it was reported2 that the country had delivered several shipments of weapons material to the latter which included warhead cannisters for the new Ghauri medium-range missiles.

However, even as North Korea emerges from a debilitating famine, it has been in the news for the better part of the year for other reasons. Apart from missile and nuclear proliferation, the country had been involved in incursions into South Korean waters when its warships crossed the US-delineated maritime buffer zone in the Yellow Sea between the two Koreas. Also, a "will it, won't it" push-the-launch-button on its Taepo Dong II rocket has kept analysts guessing its real intentions.

Three aspects constitute the nuclear programme: North Korea and the Agreed Framework; North Korea and Ballistic Missiles; and North Korea as a Nuclear and Ballistic Missile Proliferator. This paper looks at the first aspect, i.e, North Korea's nuclear programme from events that led to the signing of the Agreed Framework in 1994 and after, as well as current North Korean nuclear issues.

Brief Overview of North Korean Nuclear Background (Events Leading up to Agreed Framework)

Though North Korea's nuclear programme started well before 1985, it was only after it joined the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in that year that global attention was focussed on its activities in this field, especially since the country pursued an active programme, in violation of the treaty. These violations centred around a number of facilities at the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Centre.

The city of Yongbyon is located about 85 km north of the capital, Pyongyang, within Pundangku, Yongbyon-gun county, Pyongan-bukto province and the actual nuclear facilities are located 6 km south-west of the city along the shores of River Kuryong-gang.3 Agreements signed on March 26 and September 7, 1956, between North Korea and the Soviet Union on nuclear research cooperation, led to the establishment of the Yongbyon nuclear research complex. The agreements included provision for a small number of North Korea personnel being taught nuclear physics within the Soviet Union. This was followed by additional protocols on the peaceful use of nuclear energy which North Korea signed with, both, the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China (PRC). It was during the 1970s that the decision was taken to pursue both nuclear power and a weapons programme which resulted in a major expansion of the Yongbyon nuclear research complex and the establishment of facilities throughout the country.4

The key facilities at Yongybon included an operational 5-megawatts electric (MWe) nuclear power reactor, a large-scale reprocessing plant for plutonium extraction which was partially completed, a number of radiochemistry laboratories that can be used for plutonium extraction, a high-explosive testing facility, and a fuel fabrication plant. As has been stated earlier, North Korea signed the NPT in 1985 but did not permit the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to carry out inspections, which was required by the provisions of the treaty, until May 1992. US intelligence agencies came to the conclusion in the early 1990s that North Korea had extracted plutonium at the Yongbyon reprocessing plant, and possibly at a number of radiochemistry laboratories, using irradiated fuel rods from the 5-MWe reactor, which is thought to have been partially or fully refuelled in 1989. It is technically feasible that North Korea could have obtained as much as 12 kg of plutonium, which is enough to manufacture one or two nuclear weapons. It was assessed by most US intelligence agencies at that time that the amount of plutonium recovered by the country was more than that declared to the IAEA and that this excess would have been enough to make one or possibly two nuclear weapons.5

The IAEA Inspection Controversy

North Korea announced that it was withdrawing from the NPT on March 12 1993, rather than allow officials of the IAEA to inspect two nuclear sites in the north of the country.6 All foreigners (with the exception of diplomats) were asked to leave, inspectors were banned and the United Nations (UN) was warned that the country would regard any sanctions imposed against it as a "declaration of war". It was during this time that a senior official in Pyongyang warned that if military force was used against it, it would mean "plunging the whole Korean peninsula into the flames of war."7 The announcement of its withdrawal from the NPT was to have taken effect on June 12, 1993. A day prior to this, however, North Korea agreed to "suspend" withdrawal from the NPT for "as long as it considers necessary."8 This decision was taken after talks in New York, with US negotiators. The USA, in turn, agreed not to threaten North Korea with nuclear force.

Earlier, in May 1992, the IAEA had initiated a series of inspections and "visits" to verify North Korea's initial inventory of nuclear facilities and materials and during the process and course of the year, the agency had found discrepancies in the country's declaration of levels of past plutonium production.9 In particular, the IAEA's chemical analysis of samples of plotonium provided by North Korea contradicted the latter's claim that it had previously separated only grams of plutonium in a one-time "experiment." The results by the IAEA indicated that the country had separated plutonium in four campaigns over three years, i.e., starting from 1989. Further concern was expressed by these findings as it appeared to contradict the claim made by North Korea that it had not replaced the fuel core of the 5-MWe reactor since the unit had begun operating in 1986 but had separated plutonium only from a handful of defective fuel rods that it had removed from the complex. It was believed by US intelligence analysts, that the core of the reactor had been replaced during a 100-day period when the facility was shut down in 1989, which resulted in North Korea ending up with the possibility of possessing a stockpile of plutonium-bearing spent fuel from which it could have subsequently extracted a significant amount of plutonium at the Yongbyon reprocessing plant, enough for one or two nuclear devices. It was in an effort to resolve the discrepancies that the IAEA had found in North Korea's declaration regarding plutonium production that the former called in the early part of 1993 for a "special inspection" of two undeclared sites near the Yongbyon nuclear complex, as has been noted earlier.

The UN Security Council issued a non-binding appeal to North Korea on March 30, 1994, to permit the IAEA to finish inspections of a nuclear laboratory near Pyongang. The agency had reported earlier on February 20, 1994, that the country had not allowed its inspectors to carry out key tests there, which would have determined whether plutonium had been secretly diverted from the plant. The appeal, in the form of a statement, set a deadline of six weeks for the IAEA to report on whether its inspections were completed and whether North Korea was in compliance with international safeguards. It also called on North Korea to resume talks with the US and South Korea, which had been called off after the inspections had failed.

North Korea initially agreed to an IAEA inspection in March 1994, as part of a complicated package deal in which the former agreed to an inspection of its declared facilities but later blocked the agency from taking key radioactive samples at the plutonium extraction plant at Yongbyon, when it believed that key elements of the deal had not been fulfilled. The crisis grew by mid-May 1994 when the country started to defuel the 5-MWe reactor while refusing to implement procedures placed by the IAEA to segregate 300 fuel rods which had been carefully selected from the 8,000-rod core. If an analysis had been made of the radioactive signature of the segregated rods, it could have indicated how long they (rods) had been in the reactor, which would have permitted the IAEA to determine whether it had been refuelled in 1989, thus, providing an opportunity to determine whether North Korea had the capacity/capability to obtain plutonium for one or two nuclear devices.

By May 19, 1994, the IAEA stated that North Korea had begun extracting fuel rods from its 5-MWe Yongbyon reactor, which was a "serious violation" of IAEA inspection terms. The country allowed senior safeguard officials of the agency to arrive at Pyongang on May 24, 1994, to clarify with the three IAEA inspectors already in place there since the previous week, the measures needed to inspect the removal of the nuclear fuel rods. By May 29, the IAEA team had to return empty-handed from Pyongyang. Their assessment was that North Korea was clandestinely engaged in making nuclear bombs.10 North Korea's continued insistence that it would never allow inspections at the two sites which it claimed were military facilities and thus off limits, closed the only option left for the IAEA to determine past levels of plutonium production. North Korea's refusal to comply with IAEA inspection requirements during the defuelling of the Yongbyon reactor led the agency to announce on June 10, 1994, that it was cutting off all technical assistance to the country. This in turn led the country to announce on June 13 that it was withdrawing from the agency and that it would develop its own nuclear programme independent of world scrutiny.

Former US President Jimmy Carter met with President Kim II Sung on June 16-17, 1994, and the looming crisis seemed to ease. The talks resulted in the North Korean leader agreeing to freeze his country's nuclear programme if the USA resumed high-level talks.11 Due to Kim II Sung's sudden death on July 9, 1994, the negotiations which were taking place between the USA and North Korea, were suspended until early August. An "Agreed Statement" was hammered out on August 12, 1994, and the outcome was that under its broad terms, North Korea agreed to dismantle the elements of its nuclear programme that apparently were linked to the production of nuclear arms.12

Agreed Framework

The USA and North Korea went on to have a series of expert-level talks and a round of high-level discussions to work out the modalities of an agreement, which resulted after a period of stalemate, in the signing of an "Agreed Framework," on October 21, 1994.13 Among other things, the framework provides for the establishment of a multinational consortium that will finance and supply North Korea with two light water reactors (LWRs) by the year 2003 AD. In return, North Korea agreed to a number of terms which included: it agreed to freeze its nuclear programme immediately; it pledged not to refuel the 5-MWe Yongbyon reactor; it undertook to halt construction of the 50-MWe reactor also situated at Yongbyon and of the 200-MWe reactor at Taechon; it agreed to seal the Yongbyon plutonium separation plant and the fabrication plant at the same place; it agreed to leave the spent fuel which had been discharged from the 5-MWe reactors in June 1994 in storage, without plutonium separation; it agreed that the spent fuel would be removed from its territory as and when nuclear components for the first LWR are supplied and that all of the facilities, where the activities had been frozen, would be dismantled by the time the second LWR was completed. North Korea had claimed that the freezing of its graphite-moderated reactors and related facilities would result in an energy deficit and to offset this deficiency, the USA would arrange for the delivery to the country (within three months) of heavy oil for heating and electricity production" that will reach a rate of 500,000 tonnes annually." However, with the completion of the first LWR, this grant of heavy fuel oil would be stopped. Also, in the sphere of policy, the Agreed Framework provided for steps toward the normalisation of relations between North Korea and the USA, assurance from the latter against the threat or use of nuclear weapons against the North, and North Korea's commitment to implement the 1992 North-South Declaration on the Denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.14


While implementation of the Agreed Framework has been proceeding slowly due to time-consuming negotiations with North Korea as well as periodic crises that take place there, the USA, Japan and South Korea formed a multinational consortium on March 9, 1995, called the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organisation (KEDO), to supply the former with the two light-water reactors as spelt out in the framework. Apart from being the agency responsible for the implementation of the reactor deal, KEDO also has to raise the funds needed to pay for the oil deliveries that the US had initially sponsored. A joint statement was issued on June 13, 1995, by the USA and North Korea, which resolved some of the issues that had earlier been responsible for holding up implementation of the Agreed Framework. An initial stumbling block had been North Korea's refusal to accept South Koran reactors. Agreement was reached in the joint statement when both sides agreed that KEDO would select a reactor model that was based on a US-origin design, would select a prime contractor for the project and also choose an American firm as the programme coordinator. KEDO announced, also on the same day, i.e., June 13, the model for the reactors to be supplied to North Korea—it would be the 1,000-MWe Korean Standard Nuclear Power Plant (KSNP), based on the System 80 reactor design of the US firm—Asea Brown Boveri-Combustion Engineering (ABB-CE)

Further negotiation saw North Korea and KEDO concluding a Supply Agreement on December 15, 1995 for the actual financing and supply of the reactors. The three main components of the Supply Agreement are: setting out the scope of supply for the two light-water reactors, outlining the terms of repayment by North Korea of the reactors; and outlining the general terms and conditions under which KEDO will operate at the project site. Additionally, the agreement also codifies in a legally binding instrument the non-proliferation commitments which were the core of the Agreed Framework of 1994, i.e., that the delivery of fuel oil and construction work on the LWRs would stop immediately if North Korea violated its contractual commitments.

Subsequent protocols negotiated between KEDO and North Korea detailed the terms and conditions of the Supply Agreement. The two parties signed three protocols on July 11, 1996, on privileges, immunities, transportation and communication. March 1996 witnessed KEDO selecting the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), which is South Korea's electrical utility with nuclear power reactor experience, as the prime contractor for the reactor project. In July of the same year, the US firm of Duke Engineering & Services, Inc., was chosen as KEDO's programme coordinator (later known as its technical support consultant). The same month witnessed KEPCO submitting a rough cost estimate of the LWR project—reportedly, $5.5-6 billion.15 South Korea, assuming a "central role" was prepared to pay up to 70 per cent of the cost of the project, while Japan, in a "meaningful role" would pay between 20-25 per cent. Following the completion of the LWRs, North Korea is to repay the cost of the project over a 20-year, interest-free period, with a three-year grace period.16

On May 15, 1996, KEDO and the European Union signed an agreement that made EURATOM an executive board member of the former as it would contribute a total of $86 million over five years. By mid-1997, KEDO had 11 members and had received international contributions from 23 countries.17 On August 19, 1997, KEDO reached an important milestone in the implementation of the Framework when it held a ground-breaking ceremony near Sinpo in South Hamgyong Province. Over the next year, KEDO was scheduled to prepare the Kumho site near Sinpo City, and build the infrastructure to support the estimated 7,000 South Korean workers who are to live in the North while the project is completed.18

In what was described by the Clinton Administration as essential to preserving the Agreed Framework and a prerequisite for any hopes of improving relations between the USA and North Korea, US presidential, envoy and special coordinator for Clinton's North Korea policy, William Perry, the former US defence secretary, led a US inspection team from May 25-28, 1999, to inspect an underground construction site in Kumchang-ni and to meet with North Korean officials to discuss the possibility of a major shift in relations between Pyongyang and Washington.19

Oil Supplies

By the terms of the Agreed Framework, the US had committed itself to compensate North Korea with fuel oil for the energy it lost with the shutting down of its 5-MWe reactor and abandoning plans to finish the two larger power reactors. The US delivered 50,000 tonnes of heavy fuel to the country in January 1995. Thereafter, KEDO assumed responsibility for the remaining 100,000 tonnes which was due by November 1995, and the 500,000 additional tonnes due every twelve months after that. These oil shipments are to continue until the first LWR is completed. When it was reported in mid-1995 that North Korea was diverting fuel oil to the military, KEDO installed oil flow meters at the thermal power plants that were receiving the fuel oil. For the years 1995, 1996 and 1997, KEDO met its fuel oil requirements.

Canning Fuel Deliveries

One of the terms of the Agreed Framework was that North Korea would store, without reprocessing, the spent fuel that had been discharged in June 1994 from its 5 MWe reactor and the country would complete the removal of the spent fuel from its territory when the major nuclear components had been completely shipped to the North for the first LWR. The US Department of Energy (DOE) began a project to place the spent fuel in corrosion-resistant cannisters that would allow for long-term storage and awarded a contract to NAC International to stabilise and can about 8,000 spent fuel rods. By the end of September 1995, the first stage of canning which was to install a water-purification device in the holding pool, was accomplished. By the end of January 1996, North Korea began removing the spent fuel rods from the pool and placing them in dry storage. While the actual canning began on April 27, 1996 and ended by April 1, 1998, the cost which was to be borne by the USA was estimated at $26.5 million.20

Recent Developments

When North Korea launched the Taepo Dong missile over Japan on August 31, 1998, it caused an international furore. However, the launch has succeeded in keeping the unpredictable nature of the country's actions in the forefront of international concern. The Taeop Dong series is believed to have been initiated for development by North Korea in the early 1990s and the name "Taepo Dong" comes from the geographical area where a mock-up of the new missile was first detected in February 1994. While analysts believe that the Taepo Dong I has been designed to deliver a 1,000-1,500 kg warhead to a range of 1,500-2,500 km, according to open-source literature, it uses the Nodong I for its first stage and the Scud-C (Hwasong-6) as the second stage. During its first testing in August, US intelligence tracked the rocket's flight over the Pacific Ocean. While the first stage of the rocket fell into international waters which was approximately 300 km east of the launch site (Musudan-ri Launch Facility), the rocket went on to fly over the Japanese island of Honshu and the second stage fell roughly 330 km away from the Japanese port city of Hachinohe after flying roughly 1,320 km.21 Initially, media reports had characterised the Taepo Dong I as a two-stage intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM). A more-detailed analysis of data from radar tapes, later suggested, however, that the Taepo Dong had a small solid-fuel third stage that failed.22

Consequent to the launch of Taepo Dong I, the USA and Japan announced on September 20, 1998, that the two countries would proceed with joint feasibility studies on theatre missile defence (TMD). The Japanese Defence Minister Fukushiro Nukaga announced on October 23 that the Japanese Defence Agency (JDA) would request about $8 billion for Japan's 1999 fiscal year to fund joint research with the USA. It had been reported that the JDA planned to spend about $175 to 250 million on the research programme over the next five years.23 Meanwhile, while announcing the salient points of a proposed US deployment of a national missile defence (NMD) on January 20, 1999, US Defence Secretary William Cohen said.24

Last spring, a commission chaired by former Secretary Donald Rumsfeld25 provided a sobering analysis of the nature of the threat and of limitations on our ability to predict how rapidly it will change. Then on August 31st, North Korea launched a Taepo Dong I missile. The missile test demonstrated important aspects of intercontinental missile development, including multiple stage separation, and unexpectedly included the use of a third stage. The Taepo Dong I test was another, stronger indicator that the USA in fact will face a rogue nation missile threat to our homeland against which we will have to defend the American people.

Throughout the period, steps have been taken to achieve normalised diplomatic, political, and economic relations between the USA and North Korea26, and the Korean peace talks in an attempt towards Korean reunification are known as the four-party talks as the countries of North and South Korea, China and the USA are involved.

North Korea went back to making the world guess its next move when the Japanese news media reported on June 16, that the former was planning to test a Taepo Dong 2 ballistic missile with a potential range of 4,000 to 6,000 km. Quoting Japanese defence officials, the Kyodo News Agency said that the test was expected within a month or two.27 The US media corroborated reports of an impending Taepo Dong 2 test when it alleged that US intelligence had uncovered evidence that North Korea might be planning the launch of either a first Taepo Dong 2 test or a second Taepo Dong I test later in the summer. As a reaction, Japan and the US agreed on August 16, 1999, to conduct joint research on a missile defence system that theoretically could destroy incoming ballistic missiles like Taepo Dong 2. An agreement was signed between Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura and US Ambassador to Japan, Thomas Foley, which called on the two countries to combine their basic capabilities of a "theater missile defence system". This system is intended to protect the USA and its allies against incoming missiles flying within a 1,860-miles radius. Officials of both governments stated that the proposed TMD would use satellites to detect enemy rockets and to intercept missiles and destroy them before they could reach their targets. While the exact cost of the research effort was not disclosed, the officials did not contradict local news reports that put the figure between $400 million and $524 million, which would be split equally between the two countries over five to six years.28 When asked if the timing announcement was related to reports that North Korea was close to testing a long-range ballistic missile, a spokesman for Japan's Foreign Ministry said, "It would be difficult to say that this agreement has no relation to the very tense situation that is unfolding with North Korea."29 However, many defence analysts, including nuclear physicist Dr R.R. Subramanian of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) are of the view that the proposed "TMD is meant to deter Chinese and not North Korean missile attacks on Japan. The Chinese missile Dong Feng-5 (DF-5) is capable of hitting major cities like Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto."30

Earlier, on June 5, 1999, North Korean incursions into South Korean waters assumed a new dimension when a flotilla of its warships crossed the UN-delineated maritime buffer zone in the Yellow Sea between the two Koreas. On June 15, a P-6 was sunk by South Korean gunfire and five other North Korean vessels were damaged. Five South Korean craft were damaged. Reports stated that North Korean warships had initiated the exchange of fire.31 North Korea later went on to declare that its sea border with South Korea is invalid and asserted that its territorial waters extend 35 to 40 miles south of a line of separation set in 1953 after the Korean War.32

North Korea is preparing to flight-test a ballistic missile "at any time" that could be developed into an intercontinental-range weapon capable of striking US territory, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) stated in a report released on September 9, 1999. The report characterised the prospect of North Korea acquiring a long-range missile by 2015 as "most likely." These emerging missile forces "potentially can kill tens of thousands, or even millions, of Americans, "depending on their accuracy and whether they carry nuclear, chemical or biological warheads, it said. A senior US intelligence official said intelligence analysts expect North Korea to flight-test its Taepo Dong 2 missile in 1999 unless the North Koreans heed US warnings against such a test. The issue was high on the agenda of US-North talks that opened on September 7, 1999, in Berlin. The CIA believes the Taepo Dong 2 is designed to carry a nuclear weapon, although it may be tested initially as an unarmed space launch vehicle. It is believed capable of reaching Hawaii or Alaska. It is not known whether North Korea has a nuclear weapon, nor whether the North Koreans have developed a missile re-entry vehicle capable of surviving the flight—exiting the atmosphere and then coming back in.33

After eight months of study, William Perry and his committee presented a classified report to President Clinton in September 1999 that recommended that the US attempt to improve relations with North Korea at "a markedly faster rate, but as North Korea takes steps to address our security concerns. The overall conclusion of the report was that it was better to try to contain North Korea's nuclear ambitions through negotiation rather than through isolation or confrontation, which would increase the possibility of war. One of its recommendations included a presidential appointment of an ambassador-level senior official to oversee all aspects of policy toward North Korea.34

In a move that served to defuse the looming crisis, North Korea agreed on September 12, 1999, to freeze its missile-testing programme. After five days of discussions in Berlin, led by special envoy Charles Kartman and Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan of the USA and North Korea respectively, the two countries pledged "to preserve a positive atmosphere conducive to improved bilateral relations and to peace and security in Northeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region." The US, in exchange, agreed to encourage the process of developing normal relations and eventually removing the array of decades-old sanctions that have banned all commercial and other exchanges with North Korea except for humanitarian food aid.35 While President Clinton finished three days of meetings with leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum on September 13, 1999, at Auckland, New Zealand, his National Security Adviser Samuel R. Berger defended recommendations that economic sanctions against North Korea be lifted immediately in response to the latter's agreement to forgo missile testing for the time being by saying, "In any negotiation, any discussion, obviously the question is, what is the reciprocal benefit to the Koreans, and the reciprocal benefit would be some easing of economic sanctions."36

The upward beat seemed to continue when President Clinton announced on September 17 an extensive relaxation of trade prohibitions against the North since the outbreak of the Korean War which included North Korea being able to purchase consumer goods from the US—if it could find the hard currency or financing—and transport cargo and passengers back and forth from the USA, which, until now, had been banned. Individuals in North Korea and the United States would also be allowed to transfer funds to each other. US firms would also be able to invest in North Korea's raw material industries, including agriculture, petroleum and timber. Also, a senior North Korean official was expected in the USA to begin talks in pursuit of a deal that would stop North Korean missile exports to Pakistan and the Middle East.37

In conclusion, in an interview, Andrew Natsios, a former vice president of the relief agency, World Vision, and the author of a new study on North Korea for the US Institute of Peace, a congressionally supported research organisation in Washington, entitled "The Politics of Famine in North Korea," stated that the country's belligerence could be an attempt to mask or deflect attention from its weakness and discord. Other experts saw the North Korean missile threat as blackmail designed to get desperately needed hard currency from industrial nations in return for concessions.38 While some analysts have praised Clinton's policy towards North Korea, it has also evoked criticism.39 As North Korea emerges from a devastating and debilitating famine,40 and the "sunshine" policy of South Korean President Kim Dae Jung increasingly comes into question41, it remains to be seen whether North Korea will go ahead with its test launch of the Taepo Dong 2 as, so far, nothing binds the country to any agreement, other than the fear that whatever sanctions the US lifts in the coming weeks would be reimposed should it decide to do so.



1. The Hindu, July 9, 1999. The number is given as 143 crates in the Centre for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS), "Chronology of North Korea's Missile Trade and Development: Latest Update," at URL at For an update of the fate of the ship and crew, see The Times of India New Service, "Korean Ships Crew is Still not Free, says DRI," Times of India, September 18, 1999.

2. News, September 15, 1998.

3. Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., "Exposing North Korea's Secret Nuclear Infrastructure—Part One", Jane's Intelligence Review, July 1999, vol.7, no.1, p. 41.

4. Ibid.

5. "Tracking Nuclear Proliferation, 1998: North Korea," CEIP. URL at:

6. For an account of events in the Korean Peninsula from mid-March 1993 to mid-June 1994, see Kalpana Chittaranjan, "The North Korean Nuclear Issue," The Sentinel, June 20, 1994; Kalpana Chittaranjan, "Genesis of Korean Problems," The North East Times, June 20, 1994; and Kalpana Chittaranjan "Snowballing into a Major Issue," The Meghalaya Guardian, June 20, 1994.

7. Quoted in Ibid.

8. Ibid.

9. n. 5.

10. n. 6.

11. For a detailed account of ex-US President Jimmy Carter's visit to North Korea, see Leon V. Sigal, "Jimmy Carter," The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, January/February 1998, vol.54, no.1, at URL at:

12. For a detailed analysis of events preceding and following the June 1994 crisis, see Leon V. Sigal, "The North Korean Nuclear Crisis: Understanding the Failure of the 'Crime and Punishment' Strategy," Arms Control Today, May 1997, at URL at:

13. For a detailed description of the "Agreed Framework" between the USA and North Korean, see News and Negotiations, "US, Pyongyang Reach Accord on North's Nuclear Programme," Arms Control Today, November 1994, vol. 24, no. 9, pp. 25 and 32.

14. n. 5.

15. KEDO officially declared in November 1997 that the cost of the LWR construction project would by $5.1857 billion.

16. n. 5.

17. Ibid.

18. News Briefs, "KEDO Breaks Ground for Reactor Project," Arms Control Today, August 1997, at URL at:

19. Perry's team confirmed that Kumchang-ni did not contain facilities relating to nuclear weapons. For details of Perry's visit, see" US Says N. Korea Site Nuclear Free; Perry Visits Pyongyang," Arms Control Today, vol. 29, no. 3, April/May 1999, pp. 39, 46.

20. n. 25. For a progression of the implementation of the Agreed Framework, see The Arms Control Association Backgrounder, "The US-DPRK Agreed Framework: Documents and Analysis," at:

21. CNS, "North Korea: A Second Taepodong Test," URL at:

22. Joseph Bermudez, "North Koreans Test Two-Stage IRBM Over Japan," Jane's Defence Weekly, September 9, 1998, p.26.

23. Howard Diamond, "US, North Korea Meet on Missiles; Japan, S. Korea Press on Defense," Arms Control Today, October 1998 at URL at:

24. DoD News Release, "Cohen Announces Plan to Augment Missile Defence Programme," at URL at:

25. For an indepth coverage of the Rumsfeld Commission, see Kalpana Chittaranjan, "The Rumsfeld Commission Report and US Missile Threat Perception," Strategic Analysis, vol. XXII, no. 12, March 1999, pp. 1955-1996.

26. For a US government perspective by way of policy, statements, announcements, transcripts, background briefing, developments, remarks and Press conferences, see "The Agreed Framework with North Korea," at URL at:

27. n. 21.

28. Calvin Sims, "US and Japan Agree to Joint Research on Missile Defense," The New York Times, August 17, 1999. For a "Report to Congress on Theater Missile Defence: Architecture Options for the Asia-Pacific Region," which is a response to the Fiscal Year 1999 National Authorisation Act which directs the US Secretary of Defence to carry out a study of the architecture requirements for the establishment and operation of theatre ballistic missile defence (TBM) system for Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, see, URL at:

29. Sims, Ibid.

30. Conversation held on September 17, 1999.

31. Trevor Hollingsbee, "Koreans Clash in the Yellow Sea," Jane's Intelligence Review, July 1999, vol. 11, no. 7, p. 2.

32. Doug Struck, "North Korea Says Sea Border Invalid, Claims New Waters," The Washington Post, September 3, 1999.

33. Associated Press, "CIA Wary of N. Korean, Iran Missiles," The New York Times, September 10, 1999. For report, see National Intelligence Council, "Foreign Missile Developments and the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States Through 2015," at URL at:

34. Philip Shenon, "Panel Urges Stepped-Up Attention to Ties with North Korea," The New York Times, September 15, 1999.

35. William Drozdiak, "N. Korean Pledge Eases Fears of Missile Test," Washington Post, September 13, 1999.

36. John F. Harris, "US Officials Defend 'Benefit' for N. Korea," Washington Post, September 14, 1999.

37. David E. Sanger, "US Eases Economic Sanctions Against North Korea," The New York Times, September 18, 1999.

38. Barbara Crossette, "North Korea Appears to be Emerging from Years of Severe Famine," New York Times, August 20, 1999.

39. Ben Barber, "Clinton Asia Policy Criticized," The Washington Times, August 25, 1999. Also, see Bill Gertz, Chapter Six—Flashpoint Korea, in Betrayal: How the Clinton Administration Undermined American Security, (Washington DC., :Regnery, 1999) 109-132.

40. n. 38.

41. For details of this policy which seeks friendlier ties with North Korea, see Doug Struck, "Rain on 'Sunshine' Policy," Washington Post, August 23, 1999.