- The Washington Times - Monday, November 11, 2002

Officials from the United States and its allies meet this week to consider suspending U.S. oil shipments to North Korea, and President Bush's national security adviser said yesterday "it's not going to be business as usual" since the recent disclosure of North Korea's nuclear-weapons program.
Condoleezza Rice would not say if a shipment of oil that left Singapore on Wednesday for North Korea would be allowed to reach the Communist state.
"I'm not going to get ahead of the diplomacy. We're dealing with our friends and allies on this," Miss Rice said.
The Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, composed of the United States, South Korea, Japan and the European Union, plans to meet in New York this week to try to reach a consensus on whether the shipments should continue.
The United States has been providing 500,000 metric tons of heavy oil to North Korea annually since 1994 as part of an accord with the United States. Under the original plan, the shipments were to continue until two light-water reactors, financed by South Korea and Japan, are completed in North Korea.
But the oil shipments and the reactor projects are in jeopardy as a result of North Korea's admission last month that it is undertaking a new nuclear-weapons project.
Miss Rice said the Bush administration was having "very serious discussions" with organization members and Asian nations on how best to deal with North Korea.
The key, she said on ABC's "This Week," is "to convince the North Koreans that they cannot re-enter or, I should say, enter [because] they've never been in it the international community of peace-loving states and all the benefits that are there until they give up this program, this nuclear-weapons program, and all pretensions to it."
Asked about the possibility of the oil shipment reaching North Korea, Miss Rice said diplomacy should be given a chance to work. But, she said, "The North Koreans should understand that it's not going to be business as usual while they are in violation of their international agreements."
North Korea's development of its weapons program puts at risk economic and other aid that could help the impoverished Communist country, Miss Rice said.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide