Created: 5/3/1988

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North Korea's Expanding Nuclear Efforts


accession to the Nuclear

Nonprollferatlon Treaty (NPT) In5 obligates It to bring all of Its nuclear facilities under full-scope international Atomic Energy Agency ssfsguards. but It has yet to enter Into the required safeguards agreement or acknowledge new nuclear-related facilities. These failures have raised South Korean concerns about the North's nuclear Intentions, with Seoul publicly stating that Pyongyang could have nuclear weaponsew years. North Korea suffers from chronic energy shortages, and the Soviets have agreed to helpuclear power plant, suggesting at least part

ofuclear program is aimed atew energy source. have no evidence thai North Konta Isuclear weapon option, but we cannot rule out that possibility-

Pyongyang's Nuclear Efforts

The Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center, the focsl point of ths North's nuclsar efforts, was established with Soviet assistance Inseantil the, the center consisted o* an operations areaegawan (MW) research reactor, supplied by the Soviets under IAEA safeguards,arge support area. Since the North began an expansion programt has constructed more support buildingsMW graphite-moderated, gas-cooled reactor fueled wuh natural uranium (seehe new reactor has bean In regular operation since

our view,

Korea'* nuclear program Is almad at dsvoioping

[Pyongyang hasajor hydroelectric powsr

aTTumgsngsan In southwestern North Korea and Is constructing thermal power plants throughout the country.jaw haveagreed to helpuclear power plant, and the North may wall hops this will be tfie beginning oTa-sBrra projects that will help Its energy-short economy.

Nonetheiesi, tho ojwjo-W reactor raises some ausstlona. The reactor

could Be used for power generation!]

and Its limited estimatadelactrtc output would eo KOm jp ease Pyongyang's energy shortages.'

1 We believe Pyongyang probably has also developed portions of the front end of the nuclear fuelmining, milling, and fuelprovide fuel for its nuclear activities.

.And Nonpro


The issue ol the purpose (orMW reactor--along with tho North's unwillingness to acknowledge its existence--highlights Pyongyang's failure to follow up on its accession to the Nuclear Nonprolifaratlon Treaty (NPT) In5 in accordance with the NPT. the North should have enteredafeguardsdeclaration and on-site Inspection of its nuclearthe International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) withinonths.ays before its targetNorth Koreans rejected the proposed IAEA safeguards agreement claiming it Infringed on their national sovereignty because it was more restrictive than the model NPT Safeguards Agreement^

/IrTour view. Implementationull-scope safeguards agreement Is. at best

many months away.

The Soviet Connection

We bellsvo Moscowarge rola in encouraging P'yongyang to sign the NPT Inhe Soviets have been Involved In North Korea's nuclear program alnca atn addition to providing technical assistance, Moscow hasW research reactor and assisted In the construction of the Vongbyon Nuclear Research Center.

North Korea deposited its Instrument of accession wKh Ihe Soviets and the Soviet press announced Pyongyang's decision to Join the NPT. The North Korean press, on the other hand, was silent. Moscow, apparently In response lo Pyongyang's accession to the NPT, agreed to build at least one power plant that could be composed of as many asW reactors. Neither side has

announced the project's location, but the Soviet

indicate the plant will be built


/Nonetheless, the possibility that Pyongyang is

eprocessing capability and Its footdragging on Implementing NPT provisions, suggest close scrutiny of the North's nuclear effort Is in order. The South

ere clearly pursuing that course.


that Seoul

Pyongyanguclear weaponhas raised publicly^'

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