Whether it is a mere promise or a political maneuver, the world should welcome North Korea plans of shutting down its nuclear reactor. With more than US$ 20 million of funds was transferred last week, there should not be another ‘delay.’
The February 13 agreement reached between the Six Nations – South and North Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia – once thought to be a success due to the North Korea’s commitment in disarming its nuclear project in Yongbyon within 60 days. However, the North Communist nation broke the deadline due to unmet deal of receiving US$25 million frozen funds.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) — another words of North Korea– demanded it receive US$25 million that has been frozen before shutting down Yongbyon nuclear reactor. This amount was frozen since September 2005 after the United States accused Banco Delta of laundering money to North Korea for illegal activities.
In addition to this huge amount, the Six Nations has also agreed to provide the North with 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil. And once Pyongyang’s nuclear project is disarmed, another 950,000 tons of heavy fuel is on the way. Sounds like a good deal, but whether keeping the North Korea’s version of Manhattan project worth more still a question mark.
Nevertheless, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill has indeed been counting on the North Communist in halting its nuclear programs. Hill said Monday (today) that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) envoys were scheduled to inspect the Yungbyon site, where the agency will help the North close its nuclear project.“Our sense is we will be down to a matter of weeks,” he said as quoted by the New York Times. “We are not talking about months.”
To North Korea, “let me see the money first” is the key to gear up on the nuclear disarmament. But the question is whether North Korea will commit to disarm its nuclear site in the near future, regardless if the money is received, still a hope.
Will North Korea, then, close its nuclear site?
Perhaps, but the North should see the bright side of having its nuclear project closed. North Korea, which conducted its first nuclear weapons test last October, could take advantage of not only massive economic aids but also better diplomatic relations with strong nations if its nuclear site is scrapped.
Despite some critics saying that the aid-for-disarmament is North Korea’s being rewarded for bad behavior, the country’s nuclear program is definitely a threat for its neighboring countries like China and South Korea, and off course the world.