nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

South Korean firm KEPCO keen to get $20 billion by selling nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia

Kepco is still working to land Saudi nuclear power deal,  Korea JoongAng Daily   BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr], 2 Nov 18, GWANGJU – The CEO of Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) said it still hopes to be picked for a $20 billion nuclear power plant project in Saudi Arabia that is expected to be decided by the end of next year. …….

“We are trying to show that we are working to become Saudi’s long-term partner,” Kim said

In July Korea was put on the shortlist for the Saudi nuclear project along with the U.S., China, Japan and Russia.

The Saudi government is planning to build two nuclear power plants with a 2.8 gigawatt capacity by 2030. The country has plans to build a total of 16 nuclear power plants in the next 20 to 25 years. …….

Kim said earnings from overseas could make it easier for Kepco not to raise domestic electricity bills. ……..http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3055054

Advertisements

November 5, 2018 Posted by | marketing, Saudi Arabia, South Korea | Leave a comment

South Korean President Moon says that Kim Jong Un sincerely wants to abandon nuclear weapons

North Korea leader sincere, must be rewarded for move to abandon nuclear weapons: South Korean president, 15 Oct 18, PARIS (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is sincere and really means to abandon nuclear weapons, South Korean President Moon Jae-in told a French newspaper, adding that the international community needed to reward him for that.

……..“This year I have discussed in depth with Kim for hours. These meetings have convinced me that he has taken the strategic decision to abandon his nuclear weapon,” Moon told Le Figaro in an interview before a state visit to Paris.    Moon is to meet President Emmanuel Macron on Monday.

……Moon said he hoped another Trump-Kim summit would allow the two leaders to go further than the statements they made at their first meeting in Singapore.

“Declaring an end to the Korea war would be a start to establishing a regime of peace,” he said, also calling for the United States to take “reliable corresponding measures to guarantee the security of the regime”.

“We could also in the future discuss the easing of sanctions, in accordance with progress on denuclearization,” he added. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-southkorea-northkorea/north-korea-leader-sincere-must-be-rewarded-for-move-to-abandon-nuclear-weapons-south-korean-president-idUSKCN1MO0SG?il=0

October 15, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics, South Korea | Leave a comment

Nuclear safety should be the first priority in the Korean Peninsula

First, cooperate on nuclear safety in the Korean Peninsula, The Hill, 

Absent since the restart of dialogue with North Korea is any discussion on inter-Korean nuclear safety cooperation, despite concerns over possible safety risks at the North Korean nuclear complex. Inattention to the facility could have dire consequences for the peninsula: radioactive fallout does not recognize borders.

For example, because of its inability to acquire civil nuclear technology from abroad, North Korea might try to develop its own power reactor from a variation of outdated Soviet designs such as the RBMK-1000 type that resulted in the most catastrophic man-made disaster in history, the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident. On the other hand, the possible dismantlement of nuclear facilities such as the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, which contains hazardous material and radioactive elements, could contaminate the surrounding environment and expose North Korean workers if there is improper clean-up.

In addition, as the operator of several fuel cycle facilities, North Korean leaders and experts no doubt would be interested in learning more about Japan’s costly lessons with nuclear safety. Despite having sophisticated industrial capability and arguably high nuclear safety standards, Japan has experienced deadly accidents in fuel cycle facilities — most notably the accident at a fuel fabrication plant in Tokaimura in September 1999, when the mishandling of enriched uranium led to the death of two workers from acute radiation exposure, and permanent injury of another. The accident, attributed to poor safety culture and inadequate regulatory oversight, exposed 436 people to radiation.

Without strict safety practices and adequate protection, North Korea might experience a similar scenario. Furthermore, the country has issues related to emergency response and communication in the event of a nuclear accident because of the secretive nature of its nuclear program. In particular, because North Korea terminated all cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2009, it would be difficult for outsiders to learn about any incident and provide support, if necessary. It is equally difficult for North Koreans to improve their safety culture and standards without an adequate, transparent working environment.

Why make nuclear safety an early priority in the high-level diplomatic process with North Korea? The number, pervasiveness and close-to-the-border locations of nuclear facilitates in North Korea are reasons enough.

The significant role of nuclear energy in electricity generation in South Korea, where 24 nuclear power units contribute almost 30 percent of the electricity production, means South Korean experts would have much to share.

Indeed, South Korea has had to overcome its own safety problems, such as the cover-up of a plant blackout at the Kori-1 nuclear power unit in 2012, and the revelation of falsified test results for safety-grade equipment in the same year. Scientists and engineers from these two countries should be enabled to cooperate on nuclear safety by sharing information about their safety practices.

Besides, communication platforms have existed for this kind of engineering diplomacy. Striving for the middle-power status in the region, South Korea has proposed several initiatives aimed at regional integration among Northeast Asian countries; thus, the issue of nuclear safety in North Korea would be a perfect opportunity for Moon to promote a nuclear safety initiative for bilateral cooperation of nuclear safety professionals from the two Koreas. …….. https://thehill.com/opinion/international/409750-first-cooperate-on-nuclear-safety-in-the-korean-peninsula

October 11, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, safety, South Korea | Leave a comment

North Korea could have 60 nuclear weapons- according to South Korea Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon

South Korea says Kim Jong Un could have 60 nuclear weapons  SEOUL, South Korea , CBS News, 2 Oct 18-– A top South Korean official told lawmakers that North Korea is estimated to have up to 60 nuclear weapons, in Seoul’s first public comment about the size of the North’s secrecy-clouded weapons arsenal. Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told parliament Monday the estimates on the size of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal range from 20 bombs to as many as 60. He was responding to a question by a lawmaker, saying the information came from the intelligence authorities.

The National Intelligence Service, South Korea’s main spy agency, couldn’t immediately comment.

Cho may have unintentionally revealed the information. His ministry said Tuesday Cho’s comments didn’t mean that South Korea would accept North Korea as a nuclear state, suggesting Seoul’s diplomatic efforts to rid the North of its nuclear program would continue.

The South Korean assessment on the North’s arsenal is not much different from various outside civilian estimates largely based on the amount of nuclear materials that North is believed to have produced……….https://www.cbsnews.com/news/north-korea-kim-jong-un-60-nuclear-weapons-south-korea-minister-atomic-bombs/

October 5, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA must declare an end to the Korean war – to bring peace to the peninsula

To Secure Peace Between the Koreas, US Must Declare an End to the War, Christine Ahn, Truthout, September 24, 2018,A historic opportunity to end the seven-decade Korean War is suddenly within reach. The world witnessed world-class peacemaking between North and South Korea last week at the third inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in declared “a Korean Peninsula free of war” and “a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.” But peacemaking between the two Koreas alone is not enough: The success of this process also rests on progress between Washington and Pyongyang, and particularly on the signing of a peace treaty to end the Korean War.

To a packed audience of 150,000 North Koreans wildly cheering on their feet on September 20 at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, President Moon affirmed, “We have lived together for 5,000 years and been separated for 70 years. We must live together as one people.”

At their summit, Kim and Moon announced a long list of actionable stepsthey will take to improve relations, from establishing a reunion center for divided families to reopening the Mt. Kumgang tourism center and the Kaesong industrial zone — two inter-Korean development projects from the previous Sunshine Policy years that were shut down as relations worsened between the two Koreas during the previous two hardline administrations. The defense ministers also agreed in a separate military agreement to reduce military tensions by downsizing the number of guards near the Military Demarcation Line, the border dividing North and South Korea in the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) established by the Armistice Agreement in 1953. The Korean leaders also agreed to de-mine a village in the DMZ surrounding the border between North Korea and South Korea.

As part of the Pyongyang Declaration by the two Koreas to transform the Korean Peninsula “into a land of peace free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threats,” Kim committed to “permanently dismantle the Dongchang-ri missile engine test site” in the presence of international inspectors, and “the permanent dismantlement of the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon.” But this would depend on “corresponding measures” by the United States “in accordance with the spirit of the June 12 US-DPRK Joint Statement.”

Trump last month canceled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to North Korea, saying North Korea had not made “sufficient progress” toward denuclearization. North Korean leaders, however, say the United States hasn’t honored its end of the Singapore Declaration in which the first two items were to improve relations and establish a peace process. Denuclearization came third, and the repatriation of the remains of US service members was a last added item.

Pyongyang has already made several concessions: It has halted missile and nuclear tests, begun to dismantle the Sohae missile launch site and destroyed the Punggye-ri nuclear test in the presence of foreign journalists, released three detained Americans, and repatriated the remains of US service members from the Korean War. The United States, meanwhile, has halted one joint military exercise after Trump’s spontaneous announcement at the press briefing following his meeting with Kim. But these joint exercises could easily be resumed.

North Korea has made clear that denuclearization will require a peace process that includes concrete steps toward a Peace Treaty, as promised in the 1953 Armistice Agreement signed by the United States, North Korea and China. James Laney, a former US ambassador to South Korea under Clinton, has argued, “A peace treaty would provide a baseline for relationships, eliminating the question of the other’s legitimacy and its right to exist. Absent such a peace treaty, every dispute presents afresh the question of the other side’s legitimacy.”

But North Korea is unlikely to unilaterally surrender its nuclear weapons without improved relations. We knew that the Clinton and Bush administrations were close to waging a pre-emptive strike on Pyongyang, but now Bob Woodward’s book Fear has also confirmed that even President Obama weighed a first strike on North Korea. Kim has seen what happened to Iraq, Libya and Iran, not to mention his own country’s experience of a devastating US bombing.

Most Americans have no idea that in just three years, the Korean War claimed over 4 million lives. The US dropped 635,000 tons of bombs on Korea, more than it did in the rest of the Asia-Pacific in WWII combined, and it used 33,000 tons of napalm in Korea — more than in Vietnam. Curtis LeMay, a US Air Force general in the Korean War, testified, “We burned down just about every city in North Korea and South Korea … we killed off over a million civilian Koreans and drove several million more from their homes.” The US’s indiscriminate bombing campaign leveled 80 percent of North Korean cities, killing one out of every four family members. The bombing of homes was so devastating that the regime urged its citizens to build shelter underground.

On July 27, 1953, the Korean War ended in a stalemate with a ceasefire. Military commanders from the US, North Korea and China signed the Armistice Agreement and promised within 90 days to return to negotiate a peace settlement. Sixty-five years later, we are still waiting for that Peace Treaty to end the Korean War.

A peace treaty would end the state of war between the United States and North Korea, taking the threat of a military conflict off the table. A ceasefire — a temporary truce — is what has defined the US-North Korean relationship.

One tangible step that the Trump administration can take that the North Koreans would view as a “corresponding measure” is to declare an end to the Korean War……….https://truthout.org/articles/to-secure-peace-between-the-koreas-us-must-declare-an-end-to-the-war/

September 26, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea, USA | Leave a comment

Peaceful agreement between North and South Korea – but little of substance on denuclearization

North Korea agrees to dismantle nuclear site if U.S. takes steps too

At inter-Korean summit, little of substance on denuclearization https://thebulletin.org/2018/09/at-inter-korean-summit-little-of-substance-on-denuclearization/?utm_source=Bulletin%20Newsletter&utm_medium=iContact%20Email&utm_campaign=September21

By Elisabeth Eaves, September 19, 2018 The leaders of North and South Korea met again this week, ostensibly with a goal of moving the peninsula they share towards denuclearization. Unfortunately they don’t seem to have done so, says Bulletin columnist Duyeon Kim, who followed the summit from Seoul. She shared her analysis with CNN.

“I hate to pour cold water on the situation, but … we have to wait and see what details come out of Moon’s meeting with Trump,” she told CNN anchor Kristie Lu Stout. Moon and US President Donald Trump are expected to speak next week.

The joint statement the Korean leaders issued on Wednesday was short on specifics and new information, Duyeon Kim says—which was as expected. North Korea said it would dismantle a missile engine-test facility and launch pad, a promise it had already made in June. It also said it was willing to dismantle the country’s Yongbyon nuclear complex—if the United States took unspecified “corresponding” measures first.

“Based on the joint statements and the press conference—what is known to us publicly—it does not move the ball forward at all,” Duyeon Kim told CNN. “We’re still in the same place.”

This is the third summit between the North’s hereditary dictator, Kim Jong-un, and the South’s elected President Moon Jae-in. Moon has become a sort of peace broker between the North and the United States, whose leaders were threatening each other with destruction just last year, and many observers still hope he will be able to bring them together.

Earlier, Duyeon Kim shared her expectations for this week’s summit with the BBC, available on this Twitter video thread. As she notes, North Korea and the United States have yet to agree on a definition of “denuclearization.”

September 22, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment

South Korea’s President Moon hopes to break nuclear deadlock, in third meeting with Kim Jong Un

Moon seeks to break nuclear deadlock at Pyongyang summit, Yahoo News,  Sunghee Hwang, AFPSeptember 16, 2018 

South Korea’s Moon Jae-in will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the third time in Pyongyang this week

South Korea’s Moon Jae-in will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the third time in Pyongyang this week (AFP Photo/Jung Yeon-je)

Seoul (AFP) – South Korean President Moon Jae-in travels to Pyongyang this week for his third summit with Kim Jong Un, looking to break the deadlock in nuclear talks between North Korea and the United States.

Moon — whose own parents fled the North during the 1950-53 Korean War — flies north on Tuesday for a three-day trip, following in the footsteps of his predecessors Kim Dae-jung in 2000 and mentor Roh Moo-hyun in 2007.

No details of the programme have been announced but Pyongyang is likely to pull out all the stops to create a good impression, with tens of thousands of people lining the streets to welcome him.

The visit comes after the North staged its “Mass Games” propaganda display for the first time in five years……….

Despite the deadlock in denuclearisation talks, since the Panmunjom summit the two Koreas have sought to pursue joint projects in multiple fields.

But North Korea is under several different sets of sanctions for its nuclear and missile programmes, complicating Moon’s desire to promote cross-border economic schemes.

The dovish South Korean president is taking several South Korean business tycoons with him to the North, including Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong and the vice chairman of the Hyundai Motor Group, whose founder was a wartime refugee from the North………

special advisor Moon Chung-in added that the South Korean president could look to persuade Kim to come up with a “somewhat radical and bold initiative”, such as dismantling some nuclear bombs, and press the US for reciprocal measures.

“And the United States should be willing to come up with major economic easing of economic sanctions,” he said. https://www.yahoo.com/news/moon-seeks-break-nuclear-deadlock-pyongyang-summit-041619994.html

September 17, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment

Third summit this year between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un

Third summit this year between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un stands in contrast to rift with Washington, South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, will travel to North Korea for a third meeting with the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, as denuclearisation talks with the US stall.Moon would travel to Pyongyang between 18 and 20 September, said Chung Eui-yong, head of the South’s National Security Office, as he returned from a one-day meeting with Kim in North Korea. It will be the third time this year the leaders of the two Koreas have met, after talks in the border village of Panmunjom in April and May.

“Chairman Kim Jong-un reaffirmed his firm commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, and expressed his willingness to closely cooperate with not only South Korea but also the United States to that end,” Chung said according to the South’s Yonhap news agency.

The third meeting comes with talks between the US and North Korea over Pyongyang’s nuclear programme having made little progress since a summit between Donald Trump and Kim in June. Trump cancelled a trip by his top diplomat last month. While North Korea has repeatedly agreed to working towards the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”, experts warn the language is vague and fails to address key US demands that the North give up its nuclear weapon unilaterally and allow weapons inspectors into the country…………

South Korea’s diplomatic overtures have also highlighted a growing rift between Seoul and Washington, with US officials frustrated by the pace of nuclear negotiations and South Korean authorities focused on improving ties with their unpredictable neighbour.

North Korean state media echoed many of the same statements conveyed by officials in Seoul, with language that emphasised denuclearisation as a shared responsibility, not one for Pyongyang alone.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said: “Noting that it is our fixed stand and his will to completely remove the danger of armed conflict and horror of war from the Korean Peninsula and turn it into the cradle of peace without nuclear weapons and free from nuclear threat, he said that the North and the South should further their efforts to realise the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.”

North and South Korea will also open a long-planned liaison office in the North Korean city of Kaesong before Moon and Kim meet, according to Chung. Officials from the two countries will hold talks early next week to finalise details for Moon’s trip.    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/06/north-korea-kim-moon-meeting-trump-nuclear

September 6, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea | 1 Comment

South Korea’s nuclear corporation in desperate effort to save Moorside nuclear plant project 

Kepco in last-ditch attempt to save Moorside nuclear plant project https://www.ft.com/content/50389e18-a6df-11e8-926a-7342fe5e173fSouth Korean utility group looks at potential lenders to finance construction Sylvia Pfeifer in London, Song Jung-a in Seoul and Leo Lewis in Tokyo, 28 Aug 18

Korea Electric Power Corp is meeting lenders to finance the construction of a new nuclear power plant in west Cumbria, as it makes a last-ditch attempt to save the project. Kepco said it was “exchanging opinion with potential lenders” but noted that the Korean government, which owns a majority stake in the company, had said it was “too early” to enter financing negotiations. The South Korean group was named last December as the preferred bidder for Toshiba’s NuGen unit, which was to build the plant at Moorside. But the deal ran into problems after the UK announced in June that it was considering how the funding for new nuclear power plants should be structured. One model under review is for private investors to secure a return on a nuclear plant’s so-called regulated asset base (RAB). The following month, Toshiba said it was exploring alternative options for the business and had terminated Kepco’s preferred bidder status.

Toshiba has set a deadline to secure a deal by the end of September, according to people close to the negotiations. The company declined to comment. The persistent delays have prompted NuGen to review its operations. It started a 30-day consultation period at the start of August raising the prospect of about 100 job losses. Toshiba is believed to have spent hundreds of millions of pounds on developing the site so far. It was forced to pay close to $139m to buy a 40 per cent stake held by France’s Engie last year. The failure of the Moorside plant would deal a blow to the UK government’s plans to encourage the construction of new reactors to replace its ageing fleet.

A government spokesperson in Seoul confirmed the company had launched a joint study to ascertain whether the RAB model was “workable”. The Korean government is understood to remain keen to progress with the investment because it would give it a foothold in one of the few western nations backing the construction of new reactors. But it has said the investment must pass a “national audit” test before it can proceed.

Kepco wants to deploy two of its APR-1400 reactors at Moorside to generate a combined electricity of about 3GW — close to 7 per cent of Britain’s electricity needs. Kepco said it was “too early” to say whether it would be able to meet the criteria for the audit. A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said the government had “repeatedly engaged with Kepco and the government of the Republic of Korea both in Korea and the UK in support of ongoing Moorside negotiations”. “Ultimately, this remains a commercial matter between Toshiba and Kepco,” he added.

August 29, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, South Korea, UK | Leave a comment

War fear panic is good for bunker salesmen in South Korea

In South Korea’s war panic economy, sales thrive on nuclear angst, USA Today Patrick Winn, Global  Aug. 23, 2018 Seoul is renowned for its stoicism in the face of potential war. At least that’s what we’re often told, that the majority of people in this city of 25 million can wake up to North Korean threats about immolation in a nuclear “sea of fire,” shrug and just go to work.

Even when Pyongyang was detonating nukes last fall  —  and President Donald Trump spoke of bringing “fire and fury” to their peninsula  —  polls suggested that roughly six in 10 South Koreans believed there was “no possibility” of war. (Even Americans living an entire ocean away appear more panicky over North Korean nukes than that.)

But what about those in South Korea who can’t shake an impending sense of doom? For that anxious minority, there is a marketplace offering to aid in their survival should North Korea ever unsheathe its self-proclaimed “nuclear sword of justice.”

Call it the war panic economy: a small industry selling all the stuff you might want on doomsday. Think gas masks, hazmat suits and emergency rations. Or, for the upper classes, your own personal bunker………..

 priciest bunker runs about $37,000. That buys a roughly 600-square-foot sanctum, complete with four beds, a sink trickling out purified water, an electrical system powered by a hand crank and an air purification system that can filter out radiation.

Imagine a small studio apartment with rounded steel walls, as in a submarine, with an entrance hatch that’s heavy as a bank-vault door. To make the bunker fully nuke-proof, he says, it must be buried underground and encased in cement.

“My clientele tend to be people in their 60s or older who might have memories of the war,” he says. “Often they want to provide bunkers to their sons or daughters.”

Those old enough to recall the aftermath of the Korean War can be forgiven for shivering at any mention of a redux. Between 1950 to 1953, parts on the peninsula were turned to veritable seas of fire, largely thanks to more than half a million American bombs.

As Curtis LeMay, the U.S. Air Force general overseeing the aerial campaign, put it:

“Over a period of three years, we killed off — what? — 20 percent of the population of Korea as direct casualties of war or from starvation and exposure.”

That these horrors exist within living memory might explain why some elderly Koreans feel especially jumpy over Pyongyang’s bombast — or aggressive tweets sent from the White House. Go has noticed that calls have spiked when either side makes threats.

But there is a flip side to this war panic economy. When fear runs hot, it thrives. But when peaceful vibes pervade, it practically collapses……..

Lee sells hundreds of items, all of which might prove handy in a world turned anarchic by nuclear or chemical attacks. Among his inventory: flare guns, attack batons, radiation detectors, four types of gas masks and, for the discriminating survivalist, emergency rations that taste like French Basque-style chicken stew. ………https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/08/23/south-koreans-prepare-north-korean-nuclear-attack/1074765002/

August 25, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Korean government steadfast in its goal of phasing out nuclear power

S. Korean gov’t committed to nuclear phase-out policy goal, 2018/08/18   SEOUL, Aug. 18 (Yonhap) — The South Korean government is firmly committed to reducing the country’s dependence on nuclear power and will expand the use of renewable power sources…..

President Moon Jae-in is currently seeking to scrap the building of new reactors and phase out those already in operation.

During a meeting with ruling and opposition parties on Thursday, Moon was quoted by the Democratic Party as saying that the government is carrying out the phase-out drive “step by step,” expressing confidence that the present energy policy will not weigh down the national economy.

……. Seoul has emphasized that the course to denuclearize can lead to new business opportunities as there can be a lucrative market for safety dismantling nuclear reactors. It, moreover, said that the government will continue to support efforts by South Korean companies to win nuclear plant construction orders abroad.

August 20, 2018 Posted by | politics, South Korea | Leave a comment

A new Summit between South and North Korea

Koreas prepare for summit as North asks US to ease sanctions, https://apnews.com/89398fce8c9a42fc9e3fc1f3fde1dd5e/Koreas-prepare-for-summit-as-North-asks-US-to-ease-sanction,By YOUKYUNG LEE  Aug. 10, 2018  SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The rival Koreas plan to hold high-level talks on Monday to prepare for a third summit between their leaders, as Pyongyang called on the United States to reciprocate its “goodwill measures” by easing sanctions and stopping demands that the North denuclearize first.

The plans by the Korean leaders to meet come as Washington and Pyongyang try to follow through on nuclear disarmament vows made at a U.S.-North Korea summit in June between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

In the most recent sign of growing frustration between Washington and Pyongyang, North Korea criticized senior American officials for insisting that North Korea give up its nuclear weapons first before easing sanctions. Notably, the statement didn’t directly criticize Trump.

North Korea said in a statement Thursday that “some high-level officials within the U.S. administration” were making “desperate attempts at intensifying the international sanctions and pressure.”

“We hoped that these goodwill measures would contribute to breaking down the high barrier of mistrust” between Pyongyang and Washington, the North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said. “However, the U.S. responded to our expectation by inciting international sanctions and pressure.”

Those American officials are “going against the intention of President Trump to advance the DPRK-U.S. relations, who is expressing gratitude to our goodwill measures for implementing the DPRK-U.S. joint statement,” it said referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Washington has said that sanctions will not be lifted until Pyongyang fully and finally dismantles its nuclear weapons. Some experts say that North Korea does not want to denuclearize first or maybe denuclearize at all because it wants a long, drawn-out process that sees external aid shipped in in return for abandoning nuclear weapons.

Pyongyang has also stepped up its calls for a formal end to the Korean War, which some analysts believe is meant to be the first step in the North’s effort to eventually see all 28,500 U.S. troops leave the Korean Peninsula.

A South Korean official at the Unification Ministry, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of office rules, said the two Koreas will also discuss on Monday ways to push through tension-reducing agreements made during an earlier summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Among the agreements was holding another inter-Korean summit in the fall in Pyongyang.

The rival Koreas may try to seek a breakthrough amid what experts see as little progress on nuclear disarmaments between Pyongyang and Washington despite the Singapore summit in June and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s several visits to North Korea.

Pyongyang insisted that the U.S. should reciprocate to the North’s suspension of missile launches and nuclear tests and other goodwill gestures such as the return of remains of American troops killed in the Korean War. The United States cancelled a joint war exercise with South Korea that was due to take place this month while dismissing calls to ease sanctions until the North delivers on its commitments to fully denuclearize.

The inter-Korean meeting on Monday will be held at Tongilgak, a North Korean-controlled building in the border village of Panmunjom. South Korea’s unification minister will lead the delegation from Seoul but North Korea, which proposed the Monday meeting first, did not confirm the makeup of its delegation.

It wasn’t clear when another inter-Korean summit might happen, but if the April 27 summit agreements between Moon and Kim are followed through on, the leaders will likely meet in Pyongyang in the next couple of months.

In the meantime, both Koreas are seeking an end of the Korean War. South Korea’s presidential spokesman said last month that Seoul wants a declaration of the end of the 1950-53 war sooner than later. The Korean Peninsula is still technically in a state of war because the fighting ended with a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.

Earlier Thursday, North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary that ending the Korean War is “the first process for ensuring peace and security not only in the Korean peninsula but also in the region and the world.”

Kim and Moon met in April at a highly publicized summit that saw the leaders hold hands and walk together across the border, and then again in a more informal summit in May, just weeks before Kim met Trump in Singapore.

August 13, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment

£10bn Moorside nuclear power plant plunged into further doubt

Moorside nuclear bidder stripped of preferred status, Construction News, 3 AUGUST, 2018BY BINYAMIN ALI 

The £10bn Moorside nuclear power plant has been plunged into further doubt after Korean energy firm Kepco lost its preferred bidder status to develop the scheme.

The plant’s current developer Toshiba is now looking at alternative options for the future of the site after negotiations with Kepco failed to reach a conclusion.

Kepco looked to have saved the embattled project when it swooped in December last year and was named preferred bidder ahead of China’s CGN.

Toshiba said this week that a sale to Kepco was still on the table and it was in “consultation with stakeholders including the UK government” to find a solution.

The protracted negotiations have also forced NuGen, Toshiba’s Moorside development body, to restructure its business………

the National Infrastructure Commission last month called on government to withhold financial support for all but one of the planned new nuclear projects until at least 2025.

The commission said the government should focus on investing in renewable energy projects instead, some of which are now being built with no government subsidies. https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/markets/sectors/nuclear/moorside-nuclear-bidder-stripped-of-preferred-status/10033902.article

August 4, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, politics, South Korea, UK | Leave a comment

In the race to sell off nuclear power to Saudi Arabia, South Korea looks like the winner

South Korea’s KEPCO shortlisted to bid for Saudi nuclear project https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-southkorea-nuclear-saudi/south-koreas-kepco-shortlisted-to-bid-for-saudi-nuclear-project-idUKKBN1JR1G4, Reuters Staff, 1 July 18   SEOUL  – State-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp (015760.KS) (KEPCO) had been shortlisted to bid for a nuclear project in Saudi Arabia along with the United States, France, China and Russia, South Korea’s energy ministry said on Sunday.

“We were informed by our Saudi counterpart, King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, that KEPCO was shortlisted for a nuclear project in Saudi Arabia,” the ministry said in a statement.

The statement said the winner of the tender was expected to be chosen in 2019. Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil producer, plans to build two nuclear plants to diversify its energy supply and has been in talks with companies from South Korea, the United States, Russia and China for the tender.

In May, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih met South Korean Energy Minister Paik Un-gyu in Seoul. Falih told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event that he was “optimistic” about South Korea being on the tender shortlist.

South Korea, the world’s fifth-biggest nuclear power user, is seeking to export its nuclear reactors abroad.

In 2009, a South Korean consortium led by KEPCO won an $18.6 billion (14.08 billion pounds) deal to construct four nuclear plants in the United Arab Emirates, the country’s ever nuclear export success.

KEPCO was also selected as a preferred bidder in December last year for Toshiba’s NuGen nuclear project in Britain and the Korean company planned to talk with Toshiba to buy a stake in the project.

Reporting By Jane Chung and Cynthia Kim. Editing by Jane Merriman

July 2, 2018 Posted by | marketing, Saudi Arabia, South Korea | Leave a comment

South Korean nuclear reactor to be shut down early. Plans for new reactors cancelled

Korea Times 15th June 2018 , The Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) said Friday its board has decided to shut down the Wolsong-1 nuclear reactor in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, before the end of its lifespan and scrap all plans for building
four new reactors across the country.

“According to the government’s energy policy shift, we have reviewed operational plans of Wolsong reactors several times and concluded keeping the Wolsong-1 operating under strengthened safety regulations would not be economical,” KHNP CEO Chung
Jae-hoon said in a press conference in Seoul.

“Also, the plans for building new reactors of Cheonji-1,2 and Daejin-1,2 would be terminated in order to eradicate uncertainties in the KHNP’s management and restore smooth relations with local residents.”
https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2018/06/325_250740.html

June 18, 2018 Posted by | politics, South Korea | Leave a comment