Details are beginning to emerge on the deal that has been reached on North Korean denuclearization:
Under the deal, the North would receive initial aid equal to 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil for shutting down and sealing its main nuclear reactor and related facilities at Yongbyon, north of the capital, within 60 days, to be confirmed by international inspectors. For irreversibly disabling the reactor and declaring all nuclear programs, the North will eventually receive another 950,000 tons in aid. The total is worth $250 million.
One million tons of oil would be equivalent to more than two-thirds of North Korea’s entire oil consumption in 2004, according figures in the CIA Factbook.
The agreement, which also requires that North Korea state all its nuclear programs including plutonium already extracted, was read to all delegates in a conference room at a Chinese state guesthouse. Chinese envoy Wu Dawei asked if there were objections. With none made, the officials all stood and applauded.
As Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill noted, there’s still a long way to go but it’s a start.
Put me down as someone who thinks that this is a step in the right direction. I’m less concerned about North Korea’s possession of a handful of nuclear weapons that may or may not function than I am about the Hermit Kingdom’s setting up of a production facility for nukes and as I read it and if it actually comes to fruition this agreement would make that a lot more difficult.