Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization
|Country||U.S. dollars (millions)|
The Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) was an organization founded on March 15, 1995, by the United States, South Korea, and Japan to implement the 1994 U.S.-North Korea Agreed Framework that froze North Korea's indigenous nuclear power plant development centered at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, that was suspected of being a step in a nuclear weapons program. KEDO's principal activity was to construct two light water reactor nuclear power plants in North Korea to replace North Korea's Magnox type reactors. The original target year for completion was 2003.
Since then, other members joined:
- 1995: Australia, Canada, New Zealand
- 1996: Argentina, Chile, Indonesia
- 1997: European Union, Poland
- 1999: Czech Republic
- 2000: Uzbekistan
The KEDO Secretariat was located in New York. KEDO was shut down in 2006.
Formal ground breaking on the site for two light water reactors (LWR) was on August 19, 1997, at Kumho, 30 km north of Sinpo. The Kumho site had been previously selected for two similar sized reactors that had been promised in the 1980s by the Soviet Union, before its collapse.
Soon after the Agreed Framework was signed, U.S. Congress control changed to the Republican Party, who did not support the agreement. Some Republican Senators were strongly against the agreement, regarding it as appeasement. KEDO's first director, Stephen Bosworth, later commented "The Agreed Framework was a political orphan within two weeks after its signature".
Arranging project financing was not easy, and formal invitations to bid were not issued until 1998, by which time the delays were infuriating North Korea. Significant spending on the LWR project did not commence until 2000, with "First Concrete" pouring at the construction site on August 7, 2002. Construction of both reactors was well behind the original schedule.
In the wake of the breakdown of the Agreed Framework in 2003, KEDO largely lost its function. KEDO ensured that the nuclear power plant project assets at the construction site at Kumho in North Korea and at manufacturers’ facilities around the world ($1.5 billion invested to date) were preserved and maintained. The project was reported to be about 30% complete. One reactor containment building was about 50% complete and another about 15% finished. No key equipment for the reactors had been moved to the site.
In 2005, there were reports indicating that KEDO had agreed in principle to terminate the light-water reactor project. On January 9, 2006, it was announced that the project was over and the workers would be returning to their home countries. North Korea demanded compensation and has refused to return the approximately $45 million worth of equipment left behind.
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- "Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization Annual Report 2004" (PDF). Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization. December 31, 2004. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
- Tim Carter (7 August 2002). "Promoting Peace and Stability on the Korean Peninsula and Beyond". KEDO. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
- Myoung-Gun Lee (2006-01-09). "Reactor Project Ends in Failure". English.donga.com. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
- "Stephen W. Bosworth - Biographic Sketch". Institute for Corean-American Studies. Archived from the original on March 10, 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
- "2006 Asian Studies Conference". Case Western Reserve University. 25 March 2006. Archived from the original on 20 March 2006. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
- "Interview: Charles Kartman". Frontline. Public Broadcasting Service. 20 February 2003. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- Official KEDO website
- Agreement on Supply of a Light-Water Reactor Project to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea - KEDO, 1995
- "Interview: Charles Kartman". Frontline. Public Broadcasting Service. 20 February 2003. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
- Ten Years of KEDO: What Have We Learned?, U.S. Institute of Peace, March 10, 2005
- Half-forgotten project is a key in next round of 6-party talks - JoongAng Daily, 12 September 2005
- Kumho: North Korea's nuclear ghost town - Asia Times, September 24, 2005
- KEDO Puts Final Nail in N.Korea Reactor Project, The Chosun Ilbo, November 23, 2005
- KEDO told to leave North Korea, JoongAng Daily, December 13, 2005
- N.Korea says to build light-water nuclear reactors, Reuters, December 20, 2005
- An unfair burden, JoongAng Daily, December 23, 2005
- What Did We Learn From KEDO?, The Stanley Foundation, November 2006
- KEDO Demands $1.9 Bil. Compensation From NK, The Korea Times, January 16, 2007
- A History of KEDO 1994-2006, Robert Carlin, Joel Wit, Charles Kartman, Center for International Security and Cooperation, July 18, 2012
- Reflections on KEDO: Ambassador Stephen Bosworth, Joel Wit and Robert Carlin (video interview of first KEDO Director), 38 North, July 19, 2012