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Australian support for the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO)



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MEDIA RELEASE

 

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

ALEXANDER DOWNER

 

23 July 1998

AA63

 

AUSTRALIAN SUPPORT FOR THE KOREAN PENINSULA ENERGY DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION (KEDO)

 

I am pleased to announce that the Australian Government will contribute a further A$2 mi llion in support of international efforts to reduce the risk of nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula.

 

The funds will support the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), an international consortium led by the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan.

 

The Government regards the Korean Peninsula as a potential major security flashpoint and views KEDO as making a valuable contribution to maintaining stability on the Peninsula and in North East Asia more generally.

 

KEDO has particular importance as the only mechanism in existence involving genuine cooperation between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the rest of the international community, including the Republic of Korea. For this reason it plays an important preventative diplomacy and confidence-building role.

 

Support for KEDO, which was established under the terms of the Agreed Framework signed by the United States and the DPRK in October 1994, is also consistent with Australia’s strong commitment to global nuclear non-proliferation.

 

In return for a commitment from the DPRK to freeze its nuclear weapons program under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, KEDO is helping the DPRK meet its energy needs by providing two lightwater reactors and 500,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil annually until the reactors are operational.

 

The Australian Government’s contribution will assist in the provision of heavy fuel oil used for electricity generation and heating. Australia has previously provided $10.8 million to the KEDO heavy fuel oil program since June 1995.

 

KUALA LUMPUR

 

Media Contacts:

Innes Willox (Minister’s Office) (02) 2777 500.

Keith Scott (AusAID) (02) 6206 4971

 

Media releases and speeches are available from AusAID via the Internet.

http://www.ausaid.gov.au

 

 

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