North Korea has refused to allow the IAEA to verify its nuclear material inventory. This has had a direct effect on the timetable for the construction of two PWRs. The KEDO project has already been delayed by about seven years since the 1994 Framework Agreement. The delay in cooperation over verification will delay delivery of the equipment.
Officials said all South Korean-made heavy nuclear components will be ready for delivery to North Korea by the end of 2003. However, the Agreed Framework does not allow components to be shipped until North Korea is in full compliance with IAEA safeguards. IAEA verification, even with North Korea’s full cooperation, will take 3-5 years, delaying delivery of pressure vessels and other nuclear equipment to North Korea until 2004-2006.
KEDO officials warned that the project may be halted if North Korea does not allow IAEA verfication.