Six party talks: energy aid update

In the last round of six party talks, the media focused on North Korea’s deteriorating relationships with Seoul and Tokyo and the DPRK’s reluctance to agree to a credible nuclear verification protocol.  When the talks failed to produce any forward momentum, it looked like energy aid was to be suspended:

After the meeting, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that Japan, Russia, China, the United States and South Korea had allegedly agreed that fuel would not be shipped until progress was made on specific steps to verify Pyongyang’s nuclear activities. (RIA Novosti)

Russia, however, disputes this claim—but likely for for its own economically rational reasons.  Russia has been very strategic in its relations with Pyongang—focusing on securing a stake in the Rajin Songbon port and leaning on Pyongyang to allow construction of a natural gas pipeline to South Korea.  As a result, they have refused to suspend their portion of energy aid:

Russia plans to complete fuel deliveries to North Korea as part of a denuclearization deal, the head of the Russian delegation at six-party talks on Korea’s nuclear problem said on Sunday.

“We expect that we’ll be able to supply our entire quota of 200,000 metric tons in the near future,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and chief North Korea negotiator Alexei Borodavkin said. (RIA Novosti)


[…]Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and chief North Korea negotiator Alexei Borodavkin, who said his country will proceed with a third batch of 50,000 metric tons of fuel oil this month in accordance with previous six-party talks agreements. (UPI)

Despite ending energy assistance, the US maintains it will continue food assistance:

North Korea will receive 21,000 metric tons of U.S. food aid this month as part of an assistance agreement, the State Department said.

“Our humanitarian program will continue,” spokesman Sean McCormacktold reporters in Washington yesterday. The aid will be delivered at the end of December, he said.

The U.S. in May agreed to resume food assistance to North Korea in a deal that will see the communist state receive 500,000 metric tons during the 12 months starting in June. The U.S. has so far provided 143,000 metric tons of aid, McCormack said. (Bloomberg)

Read more here:
Russia to complete fuel supplies to North Korea – envoy
RIA Novosti

Korea Gas Seeks Stakes in Australia, Oman, PNG Fields, CEO Says
Shinhye Kang

Russia to make N. Korea fuel shipment

North Korea to Get 21,000 Tons of Food Aid From U.S. This Month
Kevin Cho


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