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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

[CRS Issue Brief for Congress]

North Korea: U.S. Policy and Negotiations To Halt Its Nuclear Weapons Program; An Annotated Chronology and Analysis

Congressional Research Service: CRS Report for Congress, 94-505 F
November 18, 1994
-ti- North Korea: U.S. Policy and Negotiations To Halt Its Nuclear
Weapons Program; An Annotated Chronology and Analysis
Richard P. Cronin
Specialist in Asian Affairs
with the assistance of
Violet Jie Moore
Foreign Affairs and National Division
SUMMARY
On October 21, 1994, the United States and North Korea signed an
accord that, if fully implemented on a step-by-step basis, could
resolve a prolonged confrontation over Pyongyang's suspected
nuclear weapons program. The accord came after 17 months of
volatile talks, marked periodically by American threats to seek
United Nations economic sanctions and various dire warnings and
implied military threats from Pyongyang. Although the Clinton
Administration maintains that the agreement fulfills its
long-standing basic negotiating objectives, the accord differs
significantly from earlier U.S. negotiating positions in regard
to the timing and sequencing of actions by both parties, and
includes some new elements.
The United States long resisted direct talks with North Korea due
to the character of the government under Kim Il Sung and the
legacy of the Korean War, but beginning with a meeting in Beijing
in 1988, it conducted numerous rounds of working-level talks. The
character of the talks changed dramatically after North Korea's
March 1993 announcement of its intent to withdraw from the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT.) The announcement elevated
what was long viewed as a serious proliferation threat into a
high stakes U.S.-North Korean diplomatic confrontation. From June
1993 until the October 21, 1994, accord, the parties held three
rounds of direct high-level negotiations at various locations.
On August 12, 1994, one week after the beginning of the third
round of high-level talks in Geneva, the negotiators issued an
"Agreed Statement" in which North Korea said it was "prepared to
remain" in the NPT and also was prepared to allow implementation
of the 1992 safeguards agreement with the IAEA. The United States
in return committed itself to arrange for the transfer of light
water nuclear reactors to North Korea, and establish "diplomatic
representation.''
Direct negotiations between the United States and North Korea
resumed on September 23 in Geneva. North Korea made several new
demands, including requests for financial support, and balked at
accepting light water reactors supplied by South Korea. After
first appearing to collapse in the face of new North Korean
demands, the talks resumed, and the parties reached an accord on
October 17, subject to final approval by their governments and
signature on October 21.
The following report: (1) provides a background on the North
Korean nuclear program and the events leading to the negotiations
between the United States and North Korea; (2) tracks the
progress of direct talks aimed at resolving the issue, and (3)
provides a chronology of policy statements and other significant
remarks by senior U.S. officials. The report does not evaluate
the accord or otherwise make judgments about its utility.
----------
CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION  1
BACKGROUND TO NEGOTIATIONS WITH NORTH KOREA OVER ITS NUCLEAR
     PROGRAM  2
     RISING CONCERN ABOUT NORTH KOREA'S NUCLEAR ACTIVITIES 2
EVOLUTION OF DIRECT U.S.-NORTH KOREA NEGOTIATIONS  3
     INITIAL "WORKING-LEVEL" TALKS FROM JANUARY 22,1992, TO MAY
          17, 1993  3
          North Korea Signs an IAEA Safeguards Agreement  4
          March 12, 1993, Withdrawal from the NPT  4
OUTCOME OF THE THREE "HIGH-LEVEL" U.S.-NORTH KOREA ROUNDS, JUNE
     1993-OCTOBER 1994  5
     FIRST ROUND OF HIGH-LEVEL TALKS IN NEW YORK, JUNE 2-11,
          1993  5
     SECOND ROUND OF HIGH-LEVEL TALKS IN GENEVA, JULY 14-19,
          1993  6
          Working Level Talks, August 1993-February 1994  7
          Cancellation of Planned High-Level Talks Following
               Collapse of IAEA Inspection Activities  9
          Precipitate Action by North Korea to Remove Fuel
               Rods  9
          Carter Mission to North Korea, June 15-18, 1994  11
     THIRD ROUND OF HIGH-LEVEL TALKS BEGIN IN GENEVA, JULY 8-10,
          1994  12
     THIRD ROUND OF HIGH-LEVEL TALKS RESUME IN GENEVA, AUGUST
          5-14, 1994  12
          Working-Level Meetings in Berlin and Pyongyang,
               September 10, 1994  14
     RESUMPTION OF THIRD ROUND OF HIGH-LEVEL TALKS, SEPTEMBER 23,
          1994  14
     COMPLETION OF THE THIRD ROUND OF TALKS  15
     U.S. POLICY TOWARDS NORTH KOREA'S SUSPECTED NUCLEAR WEAPONS
          ACTIVITIES: A CHRONOLOGY OF SELECTED ADMINISTRATION
          STATEMENTS, MARCH 12, 1993, TO OCTOBER 21, 1994  17
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
This report represents the efforts of several persons. Violet Jie
Moore, a volunteer in the Foreign Affairs and National Defense
Division, carried out much of the research and the organization
of the material under the supervision of Richard P. Cronin. Larry
A. Niksch and Rinn Sup Shinn, of the same division and Zachary
Davis of the Energy and Natural Resources Division provided
technical guidance. Nancy Givens, Research Production Assistant,
prepared the manuscript for final publication.
----------
North Korea: U.S. Policy and Negotiations To Halt Its Nuclear
Weapons Program; An Annotated Chronology and Analysis
INTRODUCTION
On October 21, 1994, the United States and North Korean
negotiators signed an accord that, if fully implemented on a
step-by-step basis, could resolve the prolonged confrontation
between the two countries over Pyongyang's suspected nuclear
weapons program. The accord was reached after 17 months of
volatile talks, marked periodically by American threats to seek
United Nations economic sanctions against North Korea and various
dire warnings and implied military threats from Pyongyang.
Although the Clinton Administration maintains that the agreement
fulfills its long-standing basic negotiating objectives of
containing North Korea's production of fissionable material and
providing for inspections aimed at verifying suspected past
diversions, the accord differs significantly from previous U.S.
negotiating positions in regard to the timing and sequencing of
actions by both parties, and includes some new elements.
The confrontation leading to the agreement had slowly gathered
momentum over a number years. Due to the aggressive character of
the authoritarian regime of Kim Il Sung and unresolved issues
from the Korean War, the U.S. Government long resisted direct
talks with the Pyongyang about Korean peninsula issues. Proposals
for direct talks by North Korea beginning in 1974 were viewed
generally as tactical maneuvers to deny legitimacy to the
Government of South Korea and gain the removal of U.S. forces
from Korean Peninsula.
By the late 1980s, North Korea's apparent progress toward an
ability to produce nuclear weapons raised the cost of avoiding
direct talks and led to a partial rethinking of U.S. policy. The
first official contact took place in Beijing in 1988. Between
1988 and 1992, there were numerous rounds of "working-level"
talks between the United States and North Korea.
The character of the talks changed dramatically on March 12,
1993, when North Korea announced its intent to withdraw from the
Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty (NPT). The announcement elevated
what was long viewed as a serious proliferation threat into a
high stakes diplomatic confrontation between North Korea and the
United States. After consultation with South Korea and the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United States, in
June 1993, decided to open high-level talks with North Korea.
Since then, numerous working-level talks and three rounds of
high-level negotiations were held at various locations, leading
eventually to the October 21, 1994, agreement.
----------
page 2
This report provides background on the North Korean nuclear issue
and the events leading to the negotiations between the United
States and North Korea; tracks the progress of direct talks aimed
at resolving the issue; and provides a chronology of policy
statements and other significant remarks made by senior U.S.
government officials. The report does not evaluate the utility of
talks to U.S. nonproliferation objectives or otherwise make
judgments about the effectiveness of U.S. policy or the prospects
for ultimate fulfillment of the accords.
Additional information and background on U.S. policy issues
related to North Korean nuclear weapons program is available in
other recent CRS reports and issue briefs. A brief, selected list
includes: North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program: U.S. Policy
Options. CRS Report 94-470 F, dated June 1, 1994 [by Richard
Cronin, coordinator], and North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program,
Issue Brief 91141, updated regularly [by Larry A. Niksch].
BACKGROUND TO NEGOTIATIONS WITH NORTH KOREA OVER ITS NUCLEAR
PROGRAM[1]
     1 Except where specifically noted, sources for this summary
     include The Christian Science Monitor, Far Eastern Economic
     Review, Foreign Broadcast Information Service, New York
     Times, Reuters, Washington Post, Washington Times and CRS
     reports and issue briefs.
RISING CONCERN ABOUT NORTH KOREA'S NUCLEAR ACTIVITIES
The North Korean nuclear program began in the mid-1960s with the
construction of a 2-4-thermal-megawatts (MW) research reactor at
Yongbyon, 60 miles north of its capital Pyongyang, supplied by
the former Soviet Union, and the nearly simultaneous acquisition
of a 0.1-MW critical facility. The ostensible rationale for the
facilities was scientific research and the production of
radioactive isotopes for medical and industrial use.[2] Then, in
the early 1980s, North Korea began construction of the 5-MW(e)
research reactor in Yongbyon,[3] followed by a "radiochemical
laboratory," North Korea's euphemism for a plutonium reprocessing
plant. The latter two facilities are widely suspected as having
provided North Korea with enough weapons grade plutonium for one
or two nuclear weapons.
     2 Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., North Korea's Nuclear Programme.
     Jane's Intelligence Review, Sept. 1991: 406.
     3 Due to alternative means of measuring the output of
     nuclear reactors, this reactor is sometimes called a 5-MW(e)
     reactor, based on its potential to produce electrical power,
     and a 25-30-thermal-megawatt reactor, based on its heat
     output. It is not connected to any power grid and does not
     actually produce electricity.
----------
page 3
In December 1985, North Korea signed the NPT under prompting from
Moscow, but, for six years, it avoided signing an obligatory IAEA
safeguards agreement as required by the treaty. Such an agreement
would provide for a full accounting of North Korea's nuclear
materials and provide for monitoring and inspection of only its
declared nuclear facilities by IAEA personnel. During several
years of negotiations aimed at bringing North Korea into
compliance with its NPT obligations, Pyongyang repeatedly argued
with the IAEA that implementation of its safeguards obligations
should be linked to the removal of U.S. nuclear weapons stationed
in South Korea.
In September 1991, President Bush announced that the United
States would end deployment of an American tactical nuclear
arsenal worldwide. The United States reportedly withdrew all
nuclear weapons from South Korea in late 1991. Among other
things, the declaration took away North Korea's ostensible
rationale for refusing to allow international inspection of its
facilities.
The U.S. declaration opened the way for North and South Korea to
initial an agreement in mid-December 1991, providing for future
steps to effect reconciliation and the normalization of
relations, and a December 31 agreement on the denuclearization of
the Korean Peninsula. Under the "Joint Declaration on the
Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," both parties pledged
not to "test, produce, receive, possess, deploy or use nuclear
weapons." They also agreed that they "will not possess facilities
for nuclear reprocessing or uranium enrichment," and to allow
mutual inspections of "objects chosen by the other side and
agreed to by both parties."[4]
     4 Washington Post. Jan. 1 1992: A24.
EVOLUTION OF DIRECT U.S.-NORTH KOREA NEGOTIATIONS
INITIAL "WORKING-LEVEL" TALKS FROM JANUARY 22, 1992, TO MAY 17,
1993
On January 22, 1992, the highest working-level meeting between
the United States and North Korea in four decades took place in
New York. It was held between U.S. Under Secretary of State
Arnold Kantor and Kim Yong Sun, international director of the
North Korean Workers' Party.
Reportedly, in the January 22 meeting, Mr. Kantor gave North
Korea a specific date of February 19, 1992, by which time it
should agree to open its facilities to IAEA inspection. On that
date, North and South Korea were scheduled to formally complete
the December 31, 1991, accord on denuclearization. Mr. Kantor is
said to have presented a Bush Administration offer to open an
American airbase in South Korea to North Korean inspection,
----------
page 4
as a way of reassuring Pyongyang about the removal of U.S.
nuclear weapons.[5]
     5 New York Times, Jan. 22, 1992: A9; Feb. 21, 1992: A9;
     Washington Post, Feb. 7, 1992: A19.
North Korea Signs an IAEA Safeguards Agreement
On January 30, 1992, North Korea signed a safeguards agreement
with the IAEA that would provide for the inspection of seven
declared sites. During the signing ceremony, a North Korean
Foreign Ministry official made pointed references to Japan's
possession of large quantities of plutonium and demanded the
complete removal of U.S. nuclear weapons from the peninsula,
causing concern that Pyongyang might be establishing a pretext
not to fulfill its obligations under the agreement with the
IAEA.[6]
     6 New York Times, Jan. 31, 1992: A2; Financial Times, Jan.
     31, 1992: 3.
Between May 1992 and March 1993, the IAEA conducted six
inspections of North Korean nuclear facilities to verify the
accuracy of Pyongyang's declaration of nuclear materials.
However, the inspectors found discrepancies in the declared
plutonium inventory, and were not allowed sufficient access to
verify whether, as was suspected, North Korea had previously
diverted nuclear materials during a partial reloading of the fuel
rods. Nor were the inspectors able to clarify the purposes of a
reprocessing facility or inspect two suspected waste sites. North
Korea reacted with growing antagonism towards the IAEA inspectors
and rejected the IAEA's demands for a "special inspection" of two
suspected nuclear waste storage sites.
March 12, 1993, Withdrawal from the NPT
Tensions escalated when North Korea announced its withdrawal from
the NPT on March 12, 1993. The action followed a meeting several
weeks earlier of the IAEA Board of Governors during which Board
Members were shown U.S. aerial surveillance photos and chemical
analysis of data collected by the IAEA inspectors that confirmed
the existence of a nuclear waste dump -- long denied by Pyongyang
-- and provided evidence that more plutonium had been reprocessed
from spent uranium fuel rods than the amount declared by North
Korea. Reports suggested that the U.S. intelligence capability
surprised and angered the North Koreans, and created a
realization that they could not continue with their program
undetected in the presence of IAEA inspectors.[7]
     7 New York Times, Mar. 13, 1993; Korean Herald, Mar. 18,
     1993: 4.
The United States made a direct appeal to North Korea in a March
17 meeting with North Korean officials at the U.S. Embassy in
Beijing as part of an effort to persuade the North to reconsider
its decision. The meeting was the 30th in a series of periodic
working-level talks since December 1988.[8]
     8 The Washington Post, Mar. 18, 1993: A33.
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page 5
Reportedly, at the end of March 1993, during a visit to
Washington by South Korea's foreign minister, the U.S.
Administration and the South Korean government broadly agreed on
a "measured approach" employing "sticks and carrots" to gain more
inspections of North Korea's nuclear facilities.[9]
     9 Washington Post, Mar. 30, 1993: A14, A16.
OUTCOME OF THE THREE "HIGH-LEVEL" U.S.-NORTH KOREA ROUNDS, JUNE
1993-OCTOBER 1994
On April 22, 1993, the Clinton Administration indicated its
readiness for the first time to take part in high-level talks
with North Korea to help resolve the crisis caused by North
Korea's refusal to abide by the NPT on nuclear weapons.
Purportedly, the offer was made largely at the behest of China.
The meeting was suggested by Under Secretary of State Peter
Tarnoff during a visit to South Korea.[10] The stated ultimate
U.S. objectives for the talks were to get North Korea to rejoin
the NPT and come into compliance with its obligations to allow
full inspections of its nuclear facilities, and carry out the
December 1991 North-South denuclearization accord.[11]
     10 New York Times, Apr. 22, 1993; Washington Times, Apr. 23,
     1994: A7.
     11 Washington Times, Jun. 2, 1993: A7.
On May 5, 1993, the United States and North Korean officials met
in Beijing in a working-level meeting to lay the groundwork for
the first direct high-level meeting with North Korean officials
under the Clinton Administration.[12] On May 17, diplomats from
both countries met in New York to begin planning for the
high-level talks. On May 26, Assistant Secretary of State Robert
L. Gallucci said that the United States was prepared to offer
some concessions in return for North Korea's agreement to allow
inspections of its nuclear facilities, such as responding to
"legitimate concerns" about U.S. military operations and
exercises.[13]
     12 New York Times, May 6, 1993: 7.
     13 New York Times, May 27, 1993: A6.
FIRST ROUND OF HIGH-LEVEL TALKS IN NEW YORK, JUNE 2-11, 1993
The United States and North Korean officials held their first
round high-level talks in New York, beginning on June 2.
Assistant Secretary of State Robert L. Gallucci headed the U.S.
delegation, while First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Sok
Ju headed the North Korean team.[14] After extensive
     14 New York Times, Jun. 3, 1993: A9.
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page 6
meetings, the heads of both delegations issued a joint statement
in which North Korea agreed to suspend its withdrawal from the
NPT for "as long as it considers necessary" and agreed to the
principle of the "impartial application" of IAEA safeguards, in
return for U.S. "assurances against the threat and use of force,
including nuclear weapons," and a promise of "non-interference"
in North Korea's "internal affairs."[15] The United States stated
that if the dialogue was to continue, North Korea must accept
IAEA inspections to ensure the continuity of safeguards, forego
reprocessing, and allow IAEA presence when refueling the 6-MW
reactor.
     15 Washington Post, Jun. 12, 1993: A1, A14.
While in Seoul, following the July 1993 Tokyo summit of the Group
of Seven (G-7) industrialized democracies, President Clinton
called North Korea a "renegade nation" and said that the United
States "would retaliate quickly and overwhelmingly retaliate if
they were to ever use, to develop and use, nuclear weapons. It
would be the end of their country as they know it."[16]
     16 Washington Times, Jul. 10, 1993: 1.
SECOND ROUND OF HIGH-LEVEL TALKS IN GENEVA, JULY 14-19, 1993
The United States and North Korean delegations met in Geneva for
a second round high-level talks during July 14-19, 1993. Both
sides reaffirmed the principles of the June 11, 1993, joint
statement.
For its part, the United States reaffirmed its assurances against
the threat or use of force, including nuclear weapons. Both sides
recognized the desirability of North Korea's intention to replace
its graphite moderated reactors and associated nuclear facilities
with less threatening light water reactors (LWRs).[17] As part of
a final resolution of the nuclear issue, and on a premise that a
solution to the provision of LWRs is achievable, the United
States said that it is prepared to support the introduction of
LWRs and to explore with North Korea ways in which LWRs could be
obtained.
     17 LWRs also produce plutonium as their uranium fuel is
     depleted. However, unlike graphite-moderated reactors, which
     employ natural uranium, reactors moderated by light water
     require uranium that is enriched to a higher level of purity
     and that generally can only be obtained from a few
     technologically sophisticated countries, all of whom require
     safeguards on the fuel that they provide as well as on the
     disposition of the spent fuel. Reprocessing plutonium from
     spent LWR fuel is also more technologically difficult than
     from reactors fueled with natural uranium.
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page 7
Both sides agreed that full and impartial application of IAEA
safeguards was essential to accomplish a strong international
nuclear non-proliferation regime. On this basis, North Korea
promised to begin immediate consultations with the IAEA on
outstanding safeguards and other issues, but its negotiators said
that they "could not guarantee" that inspections would take
place.[18] Both sides also reaffirmed the importance of the
implementation of the North-South Joint Declaration on the
Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. North Korea reaffirmed
that it remained prepared to begin immediate North-South talks on
bilateral issues, including the nuclear issue. They also agreed
to meet again in the next two months to discuss outstanding
matters, including technical questions related to the
introduction of LWRs, and to lay the basis for improving overall
relations between the United States and North Korea.[19]
     18 Washington Post, Jul. 17, 1993: A12.
     19 Washington Post, Jul. 17, 1993: A12; Washington Times,
     Jul. 21, 1994: A7.
Working Level Talks, August 1993-February 1994
After the second round of high-level talks, representatives from
both sides met in New York again for further working-level talks
in August 1993. They discussed steps toward a suspension of the
United States and South Korean "Team Spirit 94" military
exercises and the possibility of eventual U.S. diplomatic
recognition of the North. However, the Clinton Administration
maintained, until early November 1993, that it would not agree to
hold a third round of high-level talks until North Korea allowed
the resumption of routine IAEA inspections of declared nuclear
sites and agreed to arrangements for a meeting of North and South
Korean presidential envoys.[20]
     20 New York Times, Nov. 2, 1993: A10.
On November 11, 1993, North Korea proposed a bilateral
negotiation for a "package solution" to the nuclear weapons
issue. A State Department briefer cautiously welcomed the
proposal and expressed U.S. willingness to explore the issues in
a third round of high-level talks.[21]
     21 Washington Times, Nov. 13, 1993: A6.
Clinton Administration policy makers held an interagency meeting
on November 14 that reportedly was marked by internal divisions.
In the end, the Administration agreed to offer various
inducements, including the suspension of the annual "Team Spirit"
military exercises with South Korea and enter "broad,"
"comprehensive" direct negotiations following North Korea's
fulfillment of two conditions: (1) allow the IAEA full access to
all the declared facilities to maintain continuity of safeguards
and (2) agree to hold simultaneous denuclearization talks with
South Korea.[22] Later in the month, in press briefings connected
with the Seattle meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic
     22 Washington Post, Nov. 15, 1993: 1;Washington Times, Nov.
     16, 1993: 1;
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page 8
Cooperation (APEC) organization and talks between President
Clinton and Asian leaders, including South Korean President Kim
Young Sam, the Administration indicated a "subtle" shift, putting
special inspections of undeclared sites "on the back burner for
now" as a means of getting high-level talks restarted.[23]
     23 New York Times, Nov. 22, 1994: A5 and Nov. 24: A16.
In mid-level talks at the United Nations in New York, North
Korea, on December 3, 1993, offered to restore IAEA access to
five of the declared sites but not the plutonium reprocessing
plant (which North Korea calls a "radiochemistry laboratory") and
the operating nuclear reactor. Administration officials expressed
skepticism but said they needed to study the proposal carefully
and confer with allies before responding. President Clinton spoke
favorably about certain positive indications in the offer, but
IAEA officials rejected the proposal out-of-hand as
unacceptable.[24] In further mid-level talks on December 10, U.S.
officials presented a counterproposal with some additional
"nuances." Press reports speculated that these related to the
sequencing of steps or a clearer definition of the overall
package the U.S. was offering.[25]
     24 Washington Post, Dec. 4, 1993: A1, A22 and Dec. 7: A19.
     25 New York Times, Dec. 11, 1994: 3.
At the end of December, the two sides reportedly reached a
tentative new understanding that appeared to put off North
Korea's need to comply fully with its obligation to allow
full-scope inspections, including special inspections aimed at
investigating suspected past diversions. North Korean agreed to
accept onetime IAEA inspections needed to maintain continuity of
safeguards at the seven declared sites. In exchange, the United
States would suspend "Team Spirit 94" and set a date for a third
round of U.S-North Korean talks, which would begin only after the
North completed its end of the bargain. News reports in late
December and early January 1994 said that the U.S. offer remained
subject to the successful completion of an agreement between
North Korea and the IAEA on arrangements for inspections that
would insure the continuity of safeguards on the declared
facilities.[26]
     26 New York Times, Dec. 31, 1993: A1, A9; Jan. 4, 1994: A3;
     and Jan. 5, 1994: A1-A2; Washington Times, Jan. 4, 1994: A1,
     A12; and Jan. 5: A10.
For several weeks North Korea balked at reaching an agreement
with the IAEA on the parameters of the one-time inspection. On
February 15, 1994, however, faced with the likelihood that the
IAEA Board of Governors would report to the UN Security Council
that the continuity of the inspections system had completely
broken down, Pyongyang agreed in writing to an IAEA checklist of
procedures and facilities for a one-time inspection. These
included the collection of samples from a "glove box" connected
to the reprocessing facility, and gamma ray scans.
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page 9
On February 25, 1994, after a series of talks in New York, the
United States and North Korea announced an agreement concluding
the working-level talks. Both sides agreed to take four
simultaneous steps on March 1, 1994. North Korea agreed to accept
IAEA inspections and to resume working-level talks in Panmunjom
on the exchange of North-South special envoys. In return, the
United States agreed to announce a date for the third round of
high-level talks and to announce its decision to suspend the
"Team Spirit 94" military exercise.
Cancellation of Planned High-Level Talks Following Collapse of
IAEA Inspection Activities
Two weeks after the agreement, however, the IAEA inspectors were
denied access to several key nuclear sites covered by the
February 15 agreement between North Korea and the IAEA. The North
Koreans refused to allow the inspectors to take the previously
agreed upon "glove box" samples and gamma ray scans at the
reprocessing facility. Moreover, the inspectors found evidence of
new construction activities that suggested an effort to open a
second, unsafeguarded reprocessing line.[27]
     27 Washington Post, Mar. 19, 1994: A16; Report by the
     Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency,
     Addendum, Mar. 23, 1994 (INFCIRC/403), 5 pages.
The United States, on March 16, 1994, canceled high-level talks
with North Korea scheduled for the following week and consulted
with South Korea about rescheduling the "Team Spirit" exercises,
normally held before the spring planting season, for the fall. A
senior Administration official reportedly declared "this time the
North went too far . . . there are no more carrots."[28]
     28 Financial Times, Apr.21, 1994: 4; and Washington Post,
     Apr. 23, 1994: A7.
Precipitate Action by North Korea to Remove Fuel Rods
The crisis atmosphere heightened significantly in mid-May, 1994,
when North Korea abruptly began removing some 8,000 fuel rods in
the reactor without the presence of IAEA inspectors. The removal
of the rods without a careful inventory of their location in the
reactor jeopardized the ability of IAEA inspectors to determine
at a future point whether the North Koreans had diverted
plutonium from the reactor. The rods themselves contained enough
plutonium to build several nuclear weapons.
In an attempt to retain leverage on North Korea's actions, the
Administration offered to hold the long-deferred third series of
high-level talks to consider the entire range of Korean peninsula
issues, including economic, diplomatic and security benefits that
North Korea might obtain in return for reversing its decision to
withdraw from the NPT. Such talks would be conditioned, however,
on North Korea's willingness to allow the IAEA to monitor the
refueling operations and safeguard the fuel rods already removed.
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page 10
On May 21, North Korea reportedly agreed to meet with IAEA
inspectors to discuss ways to preserve the fuel rods that were
being removed so as to permit a future assessment of the
reactor's operating history.[29] Subsequently, at working-level
talks in New York, U.S. and North Korean officials discussed the
agenda for the high-level talks, including the possible supply of
light water reactors and improved diplomatic and economic
ties.[30]
     29 New York Times, May 22, 1994. Sec. 1, p. 17.
     30 Washington Times, May 24, 1994: A13.
The apparent breakthrough quickly evaporated. North Korea
reportedly rejected two alternative IAEA proposals for preserving
the fuel rods not yet removed from the reactor, and accelerated
the removal operation. Reportedly, at a high-level interagency
meeting, the Administration decided to prepare for formal
consultations with the relevant countries about imposing economic
sanctions. The South Korean government put its military on a
higher level of alert, and President Clinton reportedly told
South Korean President Kim Young Sam that the confrontation had
reached "a very dangerous stage."[31]
     31 Washington Post, June 1, 1994: A22.
Reportedly, on May 30, 1994, the five Permanent Members of the UN
Security Council -- the United States, the U.K., France, Russia,
and China -reached agreement on a draft resolution urging North
Korea to safeguard the removed fuel rods in a way that would
preserve any evidence of past diversion of plutonium. In
deference to China, the resolution did not include a direct
threat of economic sanctions, but the action was clearly viewed
as a last chance before stronger measures were sought.[32] On May
31, a Department of State briefer said that North Korea's actions
were destroying the premises on which negotiations had been
based.[33]
     32 New York Times, May 30, 1994: 1, 31.
     33 CNN Report, May 31, 1994
By early June 1994, the standoff had acquired an atmosphere of
serious crisis. U.S. officials and outside analysts expressed
grave concern about the implications of North Korean actions,
including the credibility of the NPT regime. Administration
officials expressed a desire to respond to North Korea's
provocation but not to "throw the baby out with the bath water."
U.S. officials appeared to discount North Korea's threats that
sanctions would be an "act of war," but the sanctions route
remained problematic. First, under the best of circumstances,
sanctions would take a long time to have effect, given the
already primitive level of North Korea's economy. Second, China
still opposed sanctions and appeared prepared to veto them in the
UN Security Council.[34]
     34 Washington Post, June 4, 1994: A1, A14.
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U.S. warnings and the Security Council's action did not produce
the desired effect. On June 3, 1994, the IAEA's Director-General,
Hans Blix, told the UN Security Council that North Korea had
removed all but 1,800 of the 8,000 fuel rods, and that, by mixing
up the rods, they had made it impossible to reconstruct the
operating history of the reactor.[35] On June 15, U.S. Ambassador
to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright, announced the
Administration would begin consultations with other Security
Council members, as well as Japan and South Korea, about a
two-phase sanctions plan. The first phase, after a 30-day "grace
period" during which North Korea could reconsider its position,
would be an arms embargo. The second phase would include a
variety of economic and diplomatic sanctions, including an oil
and trade embargo, a sharp cutback in North Korea's already
limited diplomatic, cultural, educational, and scientific
contacts with the rest of the world, and a cutoff of the flow of
remittances to North Korea from ethnic Koreans in Japan.[36]
     35 New York Times, June 4, 1994: 3.
     36 New York Times, June 16, 1994: A1, A12; Wall Street
     Journal, June 16, 1994: A12; Washington Times, June 16,
     1994: A1, A12.
Carter Mission to North Korea, June 15-18, 1994
Former President Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Carter visited Pyongyang
during June 15 and 18, 1994. Although the former President
described the trip as that of "private citizens," Carter had been
briefed by Administration officials before his departure. The
Administration categorically denied, however, that he was making
the trip on its behalf. The Administration initially reacted with
anger at former President Carter's statement, on June 17, that
the White House had suspended the push for sanctions at the
United Nations. However, when the North Koreans agreed to
"freeze" their nuclear program in return for the resumption of
high-level talks, President Clinton and other officials welcomed
the outcome and praised the former President. Some in the
Administration and many outside expressed skepticism about the
freeze, since the fuel rods in any event would remain too highly
radioactive to be handled for several weeks or months.[37]
     37 Wall Street Journal, June 23, 1994: A11; Washington Post,
     June 23, 1994: A1, A25.
On June 21, the Administration sent a letter to North Korea
proposing to resume high-level talks and offering to suspend its
push for economic sanctions once talks were under way. North
Korea, meanwhile, took two steps that followed up on pledges it
made to Mr. Carter. It extended the visas of international
nuclear inspectors in North Korea and proposed a date, August 15,
for a summit between President Kim Il Sung and South Korean
President Kim Young Sam.
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On June 27, 1994, the United States and North Korea announced
that direct negotiations on nuclear and other issues would resume
on July 8 in Geneva.
THIRD ROUND OF HIGH-LEVEL TALKS BEGIN IN GENEVA, JULY 8-10, 1994
The third round of high-level talks built on the outcome of the
Carter-Kim meeting. The Clinton Administration reportedly would
offer North Korea a package that included diplomatic ties,
lifting of existing economic sanctions, security assurances and
help in securing a $1-billion-plus civilian nuclear reactor for
North Korea's energy-starved economy. In return, North Korea
would have to stop its nuclear program.[38]
     38 New York Times, Aug. 5, 1994: A3.
On July 9, North Korean radio reported that the nation's 82-year
old leader Kim Il Sung had died on Friday, July 8, of a heart
attack. The announcement came hours after the talks opened in
Geneva. On July 10, U.S. officials received assurance from North
Korea that it would maintain its current nuclear policies.
However, high-level talks were called off for the duration of a
mourning period of unspecified length.
On July 13, 1994, North Korean radio reported that Kim Jong Il
succeeded his late father. U.S. officials said that Washington
"stands ready to resume talks" as soon as North Korea was ready
to do so. On July 21, North Korea announced its decision to
resume the third round high-level talks with the United States on
August 5 in Geneva.
THIRD ROUND OF HIGH-LEVEL TALKS RESUME IN GENEVA, AUGUST 5-14,
1994
Beginning on August 5, 1994, officials of the United States and
North Korea met in Geneva to resume high-level negotiations
interrupted by the death of President Kim Il Sung one month
before. The negotiations pivoted on the issue of North Korea's
willingness to abandon its program of graphite-moderated reactors
in return for an American commitment to arrange for the supply of
light water reactors and other concessions.
The two parties signed a conditional accord on August 12, that
included four broad elements.
(1) In return for U.S. arrangements to provide LWRs of
approximately 2,000-MW(e), and interim energy alternatives, North
Korea was prepared to give up its graphite-moderated reactor
program, including the 50-MW(e) and 200-MW(e) facilities under
construction. Upon receipt of U.S. assurances regarding its
commitments on the LWRs and alternate interim energy supplies,
North
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Korea would freeze construction on the reactors, "forego
reprocessing, and seal the Radiochemical laboratory, to be
monitored by the IAEA."
(2) The parties agreed that they were "prepared to establish
diplomatic representation in each other's capitals and to reduce
barriers to trade and investment, as a move towards full
normalization of political and economic relations."
(3) The United States said it was prepared to provide "assurances
against the threat or use of nuclear weapons," while North Korea
remained "prepared to implement the North-South Joint Declaration
on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
(4) North Korea was "prepared" to remain an NPT state and allow
implementation of the safeguards agreement signed earlier with
the IAEA.
As explained by Assistant Secretary of State Robert Gallucci
during an August 12 press conference, North Korea agreed, pending
completion of the details of the agreement, to freeze its nuclear
program and maintain the continuity of safeguards on the seven
declared facilities. North Korea did not agree to give up its
spent fuel rods and had declined U.S. technological help in
extending their safe storage life. Mr. Gallucci said that the
United States expected, based on the talks, that North Korea
would "forego or give up all facilities related to its graphite
technology, and that ultimately those facilities will be
dismantled." Gallucci said that this outcome ultimately was
connected with arrangement to supply LWR technology, but "what is
not decided and captured in this agreement is exactly the timing
for dismantlement."[39]
     39 Office of Public Affairs, United States Mission, Geneva
     Switzerland. Assistant Secretary Robert Gallucci's Press
     Conference at 2:15 A.M. on Saturday, August 12, at the U.S.
     Mission in Geneva. p. 6.
Important issues to be resolved in "expert-level discussions"
included the modalities of supplying the LWR's, the safe storage
and disposition of the 8,000 spent uranium fuel rods already
unloaded from the reactor, the provision of alternate interim
energy supplies, and terms for the establishment of liaison
offices.[40]
     40 Gallucci press conference, Aug. 12, 1994, ibid.
The remaining issues were said to be difficult ones. Reportedly,
the North Koreans favored keeping the fuel rods on their own
territory.[41] One "senior U.S. official" reportedly indicated
that the Administration might delay the exchange of diplomatic
missions until North Korea allowed IAEA inspections of the two
suspected waste dumps. Prior to the August 12 agreement, a North
     41 Washington Post, Aug. 11, 1994: A24.CRS-14
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page 14
Korean official in Geneva reportedly had said that Pyongyang
would never allow such inspections.[42]
     42 New York Times, Aug. 14, 1994: 19.
On an other issue that would later prove contentious -- the
source of the LWRs -- North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister, Kang
Sok Ju, said at a joint press conference with Assistant Secretary
Gallucci that while there was a long history of distrust between
the North and South, he thought it was "the business and
responsibility of the United States" as to whether South Korea or
other countries were the vendors of the LWRs.[43] Subsequently,
in late August, a North Korean official radio broadcast suggested
that Pyongyang would not accept South Korean reactors, but wanted
more advanced German, Russian or U.S. reactors. Press reports
speculated that North Korea also may have been reacting to
statements by South Korea linking any role on its part to the
North's acceptance of special inspections of the suspicious waste
dumps.[44]
     43 Joint Press Conference at the North Korean UN Mission,
     Aug. 12, 1994.
     44 New York Times, Aug. 29, 1994: A2.
Working Level Meetings in Berlin and Pyongyang, September 10,
1994
On September 10, 1994, U.S. and North Korean officials held
simultaneous working-level talks in Berlin and Pyongyang. The
talks in Berlin focused on the implementation of a plan to help
North Korea replace its nuclear reactors with LWRs. The talks in
Pyongyang, the first-ever official U.S.-Democratic People's
Republic of Korea (DPRK) talks there, centered on preparation for
establishing liaison offices in each other's capitals. Assistant
Secretary Robert Gallucci said that these two meetings were "not
to make policy but to exchange views in order to better move
forward." Mr. Gallucci appeared to link the "political dimension"
of the U.S.-North Korean dialogue to simultaneous improvement in
relations between Pyongyang and Seoul.[45] Press reports
indicated that at least as an interim measure, the Clinton
Administration had agreed to allowing North Korea to weld the
spent fuel rods into steel containers and keep them in cooling
ponds under IAEA inspection.[46]
     45 Washington Times, Sep. 10, 1994: A8.
     46 Washington Post, Sep. 10, 1994: A24.
RESUMPTION OF THIRD ROUND OF HIGH-LEVEL TALKS, SEPTEMBER 23. 1994
Direct negotiations resumed between U.S. and North Korean senior
level officials on September 23, 1994, in Geneva. Assistant
Secretary of State Robert Gallucci headed the U.S. delegation. On
the eve of the talks, North Korea reportedly made several
unexpected new demands, including a request for $2
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page 15
million in addition to the expected $4 billion cost of the LWRs,
and insistence that the LWRs be sourced in Germany or Russia. Mr.
Gallucci called the new North Korean demands "ludicrous," noting
that they sharply contradict what were agreed to by both parties
on August 12, 1994.[47]
     47 Washington Post, Sep. 23, 1994: A32.
In the face of a mounting stalemate, the parties agreed to extend
the talks until September 29. After failing to resolve the
differences, both sides were further from an agreement than they
were at the August 1994 talks in Geneva, according to U.S.
officials. North Korea was said still to be balking at agreeing
on the removal of 8,000 spent fuel rods from its territory or
allowing special IAEA inspections of the two suspected waste
sites. North Korea also had not agreed to extend the freeze on
its nuclear program while the talks continued. Reportedly, North
Korea had privately informed U.S. officials of its intent to
refuel its reactor. North Korean officials claimed that they
needed to restart the reactor to provide heat to buildings in the
Yongbyon area in the coming winter. Also, Pyongyang was said to
be demanding more than just assurances of the supply of the
LWRs.[48]
     48 New York Times, Oct. 6, 1994: A7; Far Eastern Economic
     Review, Oct. 13, 1994: 14.
COMPLETION OF THE THIRD ROUND OF TALKS
On October 17, 1994, at Geneva, the United States and North Korea
reached a resolution of the issues left outstanding after the
August 12 accord. The parties formally signed the agreement on
October 21 after consulting with to their respective governments.
The accord provided for the achievement of long-standing U.S.
negotiating objectives, but only in a conditional, step-by-step
process of sequential actions that hold the potential for a
future breakdown.[49]
     49 The following terms of the accord are based on Ambassador
     Robert Gallucci's press briefing of October 25, 1994. U.S.
     Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs. Daily Press
     Briefing, Oct. 25, 1994, as supplemented by press accounts.
Immediately upon coming into effect, the accord freezes all
activities in connection with its graphite-based facilities. The
existing 5-MW reactor cannot be refueled, the suspected
reprocessing facility is to be sealed closed, with the exception
of access by the IAEA, fuel fabrication will cease, and work will
stop on the 50- and 200-MW reactors. A consortium of countries
will provide North Korea with heavy fuel oil to cover energy that
might have been foregone as a result of North Korea's actions,
starting with 50,000 tons this year and growing to about 500,000
tons annually.[50]
     50 New York Times, Oct. 21, 1994: A8.
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page 16
Other actions aimed at bringing North Korea into full compliance
with its NPT obligations will follow a "road map."
-- Within six months the United States will organize a consortium
to finance and construct the LWRs, tentatively called the Korean
Energy Development Organization (KEDO).[51] Once a contract has
been executed with the DPRK, the IAEA can commence "ad hoc" and
routine inspections of other nuclear facilities not mentioned
above, and North Korea will confirm its membership in the NPT.
Preliminary work on the LWR site can then begin.
     51 Financial Times, Oct. 22,1994: 26.
In a separate letter to North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Il, dated
October 20, President Clinton provided assurances that he would
use the "full powers" of his office to organize the financing and
construction of the LWRs and funding for alternative interim
energy sources. If either of these did not materialize for
reasons beyond the control of the DPRK, the President said that,
subject to approval of the U.S. Congress, he would also use the
full powers of his office to have the United States provide
them.[52]
     52 New York Times, Oct. 27, 1994: A8.
-- In a second phase, lasting until about five years hence,
Pyongyang must grant full access to its waste sites and allow the
IAEA to resolve discrepancies regarding North Korea's past
production of plutonium, or else the agreement will be halted. If
that commitment is fulfilled, the critical nuclear components of
the LWR can begin to be delivered. During the next three years,
the fuel rods are to be physically removed from North Korea.[53]
     53 New York Times, Oct. 21, 1994: A8.
-- After eight years, the first LWR is to be up and running.
After ten years, North Korea is to be in full compliance with its
safeguards obligations under the NPT, and the dismantling of the
old graphite-based facilities is to be completed.
Other provisions of the accord require North Korea to
"consistently take steps to implement the North-South Agreement
on Denuclearization." North Korea also has made a vaguely worded
pledge to engage in dialogue with the South. None of these
commitments, nor the establishment of U.S. and North Korean
liaison offices and other steps toward normalization, are tied
explicitly to the timing of the nuclear aspects of the agreement.
The agreement also contains a two-and-one-half page confidential
annex. In his press briefing of October 25, Assistant Secretary
of State Robert Gallucci said that the contents of the "Minute"
would be disclosed to Congress. He also said that while he could
not reveal publicly the contents of the Minute, he would not
answer questions "in a way inconsistent with what the document
provides for."
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page 17
U.S. POLICY TOWARDS NORTH KOREA'S SUSPECTED NUCLEAR WEAPONS
ACTIVITIES: A CHRONOLOGY OF SELECTED ADMINISTRATION STATEMENTS,
MARCH 12, 1993, TO OCTOBER 21, 1994.
The Clinton Administration repeatedly has identified North
Korea's nuclear weapons program as the greatest threat to peace
in Asia. In an interview on November 7, 1993, President Clinton
stated that "North Korea cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear
bomb." On January 25, 1994, in his State of the Union Address,
President Clinton stated that the United States' objective is
"working to achieve a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons."
Other selected statements by the President and senior U.S.
officials and Administration spokespersons during the period
March 12, 1993, to October 21, 1994, appear below.
These entries are drawn from the major news media, including The
Christian Science Monitor, Far Eastern Economic Review, Foreign
Broadcast Information Service, New York Times, Reuters,
Washington Post, and Washington Times. Of necessity, many of the
statements shown below are only fragments of more lengthy
remarks. They should be read in the context of the fuller
discussion of the course of the confrontation and negotiations
summarized above.
03/12/93 -- North Korea announced its intention to withdraw from
the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Clinton Administration
denounced North Korea's decision. Secretary of State Warren
Christopher said that sanctions and "enforcement action" will be
sought if North Korea does not change its position.
04/22/93 -- The United States offered for the first time to take
part in high-level talks with North Korea to help resolve a
crisis caused by North Korea's refusal to abide by the NPT on
nuclear weapons. Reportedly, the offer was made largely at the
behest of China. The meeting was suggested by Under Secretary of
State Peter Tarnoff during a visit to South Korea. It was
expected to be held in New York with the United States
represented at the level of an Assistant Secretary of State.
06/04/93 -- The Clinton Administration said that the talks
between Assistant Secretary Robert Gallucci and North Korea's
Vice Foreign Minister Kang Sok-ju were disappointing. It said
that North Korea showed no willingness to meet most of the U.S.
and the international community's concerns.
07/10/93 -- President Clinton warned North Korea against engaging
in "endless discussions" as a way to continue a program to build
nuclear weapons and urged the North to reaffirm its commitment to
the NPT. In an ABC Nightly News interview, President Clinton
said: "We intend to press to see that the NPT's regime is fully
observed, including having international observers there. The
message should be clear. Even as we move into and through the
sixth year of defense cuts, we are not reducing our base presence
in Japan. We are not reducing our base presence in Korea. North
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Korea is just one of many renegade nations that would like to
have nuclear weapons and be unaccountable for them, and we can't
let it happen. We would quickly and overwhelmingly retaliate if
they were to ever use, to develop and use, nuclear weapons. It
would mean the end of their country as they know it."
09/14/93 -- Assistant Secretary of State Robert Gallucci said
that the United States would not rush to bring the North Korean
nuclear issue to the U.N. Security Council but, instead, would
wait and see whether North Korea would make necessary moves.
However, he said the United States would not continue the
proposed third round of high-level talks if North Korea makes no
progress.
10/93 -- In unpublicized talks in New York aimed at resolving the
North Korean nuclear issue, U.S. and North Korean officials
reportedly discussed steps toward a suspension of the U.S. and
South Korean "Team Spirit 94" military exercises and the
possibility of eventual American diplomatic recognition of the
North.
11/05/93 -- Secretary of Defense Les Aspin stated that the U.S.
patience was wearing thin with North Korea over its nuclear
program. He added that the United States is still not prepared to
set any deadlines.
11/23/93 -- At a news conference with South Korean President Kim
Young Sam, President Clinton said that the White House has made
it clear to North Korea that "if it abandons its nuclear option
and honors its international nonproliferation commitments, the
door will be open on a wide range of issues not only with the
United States, but with the rest of the world." The President
said that the approach that resulted from his talks with
President Kim was different, but not a weakening of the U.S.
position.
12/10/93 -- Mid-level Clinton Administration officials met with
North Korean diplomats and presented a slightly more flexible
proposal for breaking the deadlock over the North Korean nuclear
program. However, the Administration said that it had not altered
its basic stance that North Korea must agree to unimpeded
inspections and to resume talks with the South.
01/05/94 -- After North Korea agreed to allow a new international
inspection of all seven of its declared nuclear facilities,
President Clinton said that the Administration was prepared to
accept the offer but had not retreated to accepting only a single
new inspection.
01/09/94 -- Defense Secretary Les Aspin said that the
Administration is willing to cancel this year's Team Spirit
military exercises with South Korea if North Korea allows the
IAEA to inspect all nuclear facilities.
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01/25/94 -- Central Intelligence Agency director James Woolsey
testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee that U.S.
intelligence agencies estimated that North Korea may have
produced one or two nuclear weapons.
01/26/94 -- In an article in the Washington Post, Undersecretary
of State Lynn Davis asserted that the "immediate task" for the
Clinton Administration was to ensure that North Korea had not
engaged in a "future diversion of plutonium." After this was
assured, the Administration "will then press North Korea for
inspection of suspect sites and dismantling of nuclear
facilities."
02/11/94 -- During a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister
Morihiro Hosokawa, President Clinton reportedly said that North
Korea's nuclear program poses a serious threat to regional
stability and to international nonproliferation efforts. He also
said sanctions were one option.
02/21/94 -- State Department spokesman Michael McCurry said that
the United States would not set a date for resuming high-level
talks with North Korea until international experts inspect all
seven nuclear sites.
03/03/94 -- State Department spokesman Michael McCurry announced
that the United States would begin a third round of high-level
negotiations with North Korea on March 21 in Geneva. The
announcement was made after IAEA inspectors arrived in North
Korea to begin inspecting the nuclear sites.
03/16/94 -- IAEA inspectors left Pyongyang after North Korea
blocked access to key parts of a nuclear facility. The Clinton
Administration responded by canceling high-level talks with North
Korea scheduled for March 21 and stepping up planning for "Team
Spirit 94".
03/21/94 -- The Clinton Administration announced a battalion of
Patriot missile interceptors would be sent to South Korea as a
"purely defensive" move and said that the United States would
defend South Korea against attacks from North Korea. He also
called on North Korea to "do the right thing" by allowing an
adequate international inspection.
03/25/94 -- Responding to North Korea's refusal to allow
international inspections, Secretary of Defense William Perry
reportedly said that the United States would probably wait four
to six weeks to see if North Korea complies before seeking
economic sanctions. In press reports he was quoted as
acknowledging that it was not clear whether sanctions would lead
North Korea to permit inspections. He said: 'We have a very
little knowledge of what drives the thinking of the leadership in
the North Korean government, what is likely to cause them to
respond in a positive way, what is likely to cause them to
respond in a negative or in a backlash sort of a way."
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page 20
03/30/94 -- Secretary of Defense William Perry warned publicly
that the United States intends to stop North Korea from
developing a substantial arsenal of nuclear weapons even at the
potential cost of another war on the Korean Peninsula. As
outlined by Secretary Perry, the Clinton Administration is
pursuing a three-part strategy aimed at blocking the North Korean
nuclear program. The first aim is to prevent North Korea from
driving a diplomatic wedge between the United States and South
Korea. The second aim is to ensure that U.S. and South Korean
ground troops are capable of blunting any North Korean invasion
across the demilitarized zone. The third aim is to ensure the Air
Force "can quickly get overwhelming air power" to the country
within a day after any North Korean invasion, for use in "massive
airstrikes on North Korean ground forces."
04/03/94 -- On NBC's "Meet the Press" program, Secretary of
Defense William Perry said the Administration has temporarily
ruled out a pre-emptive air strike to slow or to demolish the
North Korean nuclear program but reserved it as "an option in the
future." Commenting on North Korea's plan to build more powerful
weapons in the near future, he said: "The issue at this time is
not tied directly on whether they have one or one-and-a-half or
two bombs, it is whether they will stop the nuclear program that
they have under way... Our first objective is to freeze the
program where it is now. Then we can be concerned with rolling
that back."
04/04/94 -- President Clinton ordered the establishment of a
Senior Policy Steering Group on Korea with responsibility for
coordinating all aspects of U.S. policy dealing with the current
nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. Robert Gallucci, Assistant
Secretary of State, was asked to chair the group.
04/20/94 -- The Administration announced that "Team Spirit 94"
will be deferred until later this year. Secretary of Defense
William Perry reportedly said that the decision is meant to avoid
provoking North Korea while U.S. and South Korean diplomats are
trying to persuade the North to allow full international
inspections.
04/21/94 -- Defense Secretary William Perry told journalists that
North Korea may be ready within weeks to remove enough plutonium
from its nuclear reactor to build four or five nuclear bombs, but
there is no imminent danger of war. He also said, because the
defueling of the reactor would give North Korea an opportunity to
expand its supply of plutonium, it is critical for the IAEA
inspectors to monitor the process.
04/22/94 -- Defense Secretary William Perry said that the
Administration will seek to impose U.N. sanctions, or some form
of multinational sanctions, against North Korea in the following
month, if the country fails to allow a full IAEA inspection of
its planned defueling process.
05/03/94 --President Clinton publicly offered "a hand of
friendship" to North Korea if it honors a pledge not to develop
nuclear weapons. In a National Press Club speech. Defense
Secretary William Perry said that North Korea
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page 21
has two choices: continue the nuclear program and face the
consequences, possibly including war, or drop it and accept
economic aid and normal relations with the United States and its
allies. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Gallucci said in
remarks to foreign reporters that the Administration wants a
"diplomatic solution," and he said he was "reluctant to go very
far down a road that presumes" negotiation will fail.
05/05/94 -- Assistant Secretary of State Robert Gallucci said: "I
do not have confidence that we can resolve this issue through
negotiations." Nevertheless, he said that only by pursuing
diplomacy to its logical conclusion will the United States have a
chance of later persuading China and its allies to support
sanctions against North Korea.
05/20/94 -- The Administration decided to accept North Korea's
demand for new high-level talks after being informed by the IAEA
that North Korea has not diverted any of the fuel it recently
removed from its reactor. Secretary of Defense William Perry said
that although North Korea began removing the fuel rods over IAEA
objections, that "does not mean that the spent fuel is being
diverted for weapons purposes." No announcement was made about
the timing of the new negotiations following a White House
meeting on North Korea attended by Secretary of State Warren
Christopher, Secretary of Defense William Perry and several other
senior Administration officials.
06/01/94 -- White House officials stated that the Administration
is leaning toward seeking gradual economic sanctions on North
Korea rather than an immediate trade embargo, because of the
difficulty in getting China to agree to punish North Korea over
its nuclear weapons program.
06/02/94 -- The Clinton Administration called for international
economic sanctions against North Korea after IAEA inspectors said
that North Korea had destroyed evidence of whether it had
diverted material for a nuclear bomb. President Clinton said,
"the United States and the world community have worked with North
Korea on this issue for five years now, and I believe, therefore,
the question of sanctions has to be at least taken up in the
United Nations Security Council and discussed."
06/03/94 -- The Clinton Administration rejected North Korea's
call for immediate talks on their nuclear dispute. The
Administration stated it will pursue United Nations worldwide
economic sanctions against North Korea following an IAEA report
that it can't determine if Pyongyang may have diverted spent fuel
for nuclear weapons. A White House statement said that President
Clinton telephoned Russian President Boris Yeltsin and South
Korean President Kim Young Sam, who agreed that the U.N. Security
Council should be asked to consider economic sanctions against
North Korea.
06/04/94 -- At a news conference in England, President Clinton
said that North Korea could still take action to avoid economic
sanctions. The President said: "Clearly, any sanctions are not an
act of war and should not be seen
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page 22
as such. All we want them to do is keep their word". He also
said, "I do not want a lot of saber rattling over this, or war
talk." The remarks came a day after North Korea stated that it
would regard sanctions as a declaration of war.
06/05/94 -- The Clinton Administration said it might seek to
organize international trade sanctions against North Korea even
if such action failed to win U.N. support. Secretary of Defense
William Perry confirmed the United States had built up its troops
in South Korea although he said there was "no immediate danger of
military confrontation".
06/09/94 -- The Clinton Administration ran into obstacles in
efforts to build an anti-North Korea coalition with Japan and
China. Robert Gallucci, Assistant Secretary of State, told a
House Foreign Affairs subcommittee that the Administration hoped
to come to an agreement in the next few days. The IAEA Board
passed a resolution calling for immediate North Korean
cooperation by providing access to all safeguards-related
information and locations, and suspending non-medical IAEA
assistance to the North. Meanwhile, former President Carter
announced his private visit to Pyongyang.
06/11/94 -- Senior Clinton Administration officials agreed on a
plan that would put off strict economic sanctions while
proceeding with lesser measures intended to deepen North Korea's
diplomatic isolation. The plan was intended to deter North Korea
from taking further steps to make nuclear weapons.
06/13/94 -- North Korea again said it would withdraw from the
NPT. Administration officials immediately issued warning
statements. Robert Gallucci said that "if the North Koreans begin
to take steps which further exacerbate the situation... our
proposal for the structuring of the [U.N.] resolution might have
to change as well. It would be a very serious and extremely
unfortunate development."
06/14/94 -- The Clinton Administration announced its decision to
seek a voluntary embargo on North Korean arms purchases and sales
as part of its initial set of sanctions. Michael McCurry, a State
Department spokesman, said the Administration intends to proceed
with its "phased-in approach" on economic sanctions.
06/16/94 -- The Clinton Administration said that North Korea may
have taken a half-step back from confrontation by promising to
cooperate with international monitoring of its nuclear program.
06/17/94 -- President Clinton said that the United States would
resume talks if conciliatory signals from Pyongyang meant it was
now ready to freeze its nuclear program. This announcement came
after former President Jimmy Carter issued a statement that North
Korea had agreed to allow IAEA
----------
page 23
inspectors to remain at its nuclear installations and freeze
further development of the facilities during U.S.-North Korean
negotiations.
06/21/94 -- The Clinton Administration sent a letter to North
Korea proposing to resume high-level talks and offering to
suspend its push for economic sanctions once talks are under way.
06/22/94 -- President Clinton said that he was now satisfied that
North Korea is willing to freeze its nuclear program temporarily,
and he agreed to open comprehensive talks between the two nations
next month in Geneva.
07/09/94 -- North Korean radio reported that the nation's
82-year-old leader Kim Il Sung had died on Friday, July 8, of an
apparent heart attack. The announcement came just a few hours
after his government opened talks with the United States in
Geneva. White House officials said that they were unsure how the
death of Kim Il Sung would affect the Administration's North
Korean policy. In Italy for an economic summit, President Clinton
made the following statement: "On behalf of the people of the
United States, I extend sincere condolences to the people of
North Korea on the death of President Kim Il Sung. We appreciate
his leadership in resuming the talks between our governments. We
hope they will continue as appropriate.'
07/21/94 -- North Korea announced that it has agreed to resume
high-level talks with the United States on August 5 in Geneva.
08/05/94 -- The United States and North Korea met in Geneva to
resume high-level negotiations interrupted by the death of
President Kim Il Sung one month ago. After eight hours of talks,
Robert Gallucci, the chief U.S. negotiator, said there was common
ground in some areas. But no agreement was reached.
08/10/94 -- Assistant Secretary Robert Gallucci, head of the U.S.
delegation, said: 'We are working to capture in writing the level
and areas of agreement...recognizing that there are other quite
important areas in which we still do not have an agreement with
North Korea."
08/12/94 -- The United States and North Korea signed an "Agreed
Statement." Assistant Secretary of State Robert Gallucci said the
exact timing of the implementation of the agreement remained
unresolved. He also said that "there will be no ultimate
settlement... until the question of the past, as it is sometimes
known. is settled."
09/01/94 -- The Clinton Administration announced that it agreed
to hold two sets of talks with North Korea on September 10 to
discuss establishing liaison offices in each other's capitals.
White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers said that it should not
be viewed as a step toward diplomatic ties. She added that the
Administration "would be willing to discuss ways
----------
page 24
to improve economic and political relations, but only in the
context of the broader nuclear question."
09/07/94 -- Secretary of State Warren Christopher said that the
United States "cannot finally resolve the nuclear issue until and
unless the North resumes its dialogue with South Korea." He said
that a formal treaty with North Korea is "something far down the
road."
09/09/94 -- Assistant Secretary of State Robert Gallucci
delivered a warning to North Korea that only unhindered
international inspection of its nuclear installations can lead to
improved relations with the United States. He said that the
United States has "no flexibility with the principle of special
inspections." Referring to the two simultaneous meetings in
Berlin and in Pyongyang, he said that they "are not to make
policy but to exchange views in order to better move ahead."
09/09/94 -- During a meeting with South Korea's foreign minister,
President Clinton reportedly reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to
defend South Korea and said that Seoul's views would be taken
into account in U.S. negotiations with the North.
09/09/94 -- On the eve of two-track negotiations with North Korea
in Berlin and Pyongyang, Assistant Secretary of State Robert
Gallucci said that "we have no flexibility with the principle of
special inspections.'
09/23/94 -- During resumed negotiations in Geneva between the
U.S. and North Korean senior-level officials, Assistant Secretary
of State Robert Gallucci publicly called new North Korean
demands, including a request for $2 billion in financial support,
"ludicrous," noting that they sharply contradict what was agreed
to by both parties on August 12, 1994.
10/02/94 -- The Washington Post reported that in the face of
North Korea's refusal to accept inspections of two suspected
nuclear waste sites, chief U.S. negotiator Robert Gallucci
assured North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister that the United
States "has some flexibility with respect to timing" of the
inspections, but that at a minimum inspections would have to take
place before the delivery of LWR components.
10/17/94 -- Chief U.S. negotiator Robert Gallucci confirmed from
Geneva that an accord had been reached subject to approval by
both governments, and said that if it gained final approval, the
agreement would address all U.S. concerns "about the problems of
the past, present and future."
10/18/94 -- President Clinton deemed the accord with North Korea
"good for the United States, good for our allies, and good for
the safety of the entire world." He called it "a crucial step
toward drawing North Korea into the global community."
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page 25
10/19/94 -- Following the October 17 initialing of the accord,
chief U.S. negotiator Robert Gallucci said of the agreement,
"Maybe it will produce trust, but its not based on trust."
10/20/94 -- One day before the issuance of a new U.S.-North
Korean agreement on the nuclear issue, President Clinton sent a
letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il promising to use the
"full powers" of his office to facilitate the provision of
light-water nuclear reactors and interim energy resources to
North Korea. Clinton asserted that he would act unilaterally if
necessary to ensure these "subject to the approval of the U.S.
Congress."
10/21/94 -- At a signing ceremony at the North Korean mission at
Geneva Ambassador-at-Large Robert Gallucci was quoted as saying
that the -agreement only provides "the prospect of a solution" to
the problem of North Korea's nuclear weapons potential, and that
"There is still a long road ahead of us."
10/21/94 -- Secretary of Defense William Perry reportedly sought
to calm South Korean concerns about the U.S.-North Korean accord
by saying that the United States would not lower the currently
high state of readiness of its forces in South Korea until
North-South relations improved.
10/25/94 -- At a State Department Press Briefing,
Ambassador-at-Large Robert Gallucci said of the agreement with
North Korea, "It is certainly our hope that it will build trust,
but it is an agreement that is verified by the IAEA in the first
instance, and we're very comfortable with it and believe it does
meet our security interests and those of the other countries in
the region."



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