nuclear History begins with the Korean War when the Unite States of America
threated to use nuclear weapons to end the War. Since then, the UNSC is working
to denuclearize North Korea with a number of Resolutions such as Resolution
1965, 1718, 1874, 2087. Also, highly involved in the denuclearization try is
South Korea, China, Russia, Japan, U.S.A.
First Steps (1950-1960):
Since the early 50’s, DPRK showed
interest about nuclear technology and has taken the knowledge related to
nuclear energy from the Soviet Union. In April 1955, North Korea established
the Atomic Energy Research Institute in addition to the Academy of Sciences.
One year later the government signed a joint with USSSR’s joint Institute for
Nuclear Research which strengthened their nuclear capabilities as North Korean
scientists were able to attend USSR training. In 1959, the Soviet Union and
DPRK reached a consensus on the use of nuclear power, and the dispatch of a
scientist from North Korea to the Soviet Union was considered as a step
forward. Though North Korea received assistance from many other nations for the
development of their nuclear program but as a matter of fact it remained
independent from foreign influences.
The Soviet Union supplied North
Korea with an IRT-2000 pool-type research reactor forYongbyon. The delivery was
completely done in 1963 and the operation began in 1965.
The program’s expansion (1960-1990):
As the time was passing North Korea
became more independent in the nuclear research. Several upgrades in the
reactors were made, firstly, in 1974 DPRK upgraded its Soviet-supplier reactor
to 8 MW and five years late began to build a second 50NW nuclear reactor
similar with the Soviet Union’s one in Yongbyon. While the construction of the
reactor was in progress North Korea was growing in other sectors, they built a processing
plant and a fuel rod fabrication.
During the ’80s, the government after
research realized that light-water reactors were producing more easily large
amounts of electricity which was required back then. After the demise of the
Soviet Union in 1991, North Korea’s government rebuffed to cooperate with
Russia as they did not want to pay extra money. Consequently, the project remained
stable for some time. At the beginning of the ’90s DPRK signed the NPT and the
Joint Declaration of the Korean Peninsula.
In 1994, there was a crisis with
North Korea when the rebuffed to allow IAEA inspectors to search and analyze
their plutonium production and its reprocessing abilities. Also, the government
began threatening to withdraw from the NPT if the United States or other
nations threatens DPRK with sanctions or retaliatory action. The discussion and
the negotiation over the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
dragged on until the President Jimmy Carter traveled to Pyongyang where he met
with the North Korean leader. Consequently, both sides reached a consensus and
signed the U.S.- North Korea Agreed Framework. North Korea, also agreed to end
its graphite moderated nuclear reactor program in exchange for the construction
of two 1000-MWe light- water reactors at Kumho. The construction started in
2000 by the Korean Peninsula Energy Developmet Organization but it suspended in
November 2003. The Sic-Party Talks held a discussion on 19 September 2005, when
North Korea pledged to end all its nuclear programs and to return to NPT which
had withdrew a couple years ago.