Author of 1994 U.S.-N. Korea nuke accord proposes review.
The principal architect of a landmark 1994 accord between the United States and North Korea to end Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program has proposed reviewing the deal, citing technical difficulties involved in building two light water reactors, a centerpiece of the agreement.
Robert Gallucci, the former State Department official in charge of negotiating the 1994 deal, made the proposal in a letter cosigned by 29 other East Asia experts and sent to President George W. Bush last Thursday. The letter was released Monday.
''The difficult business of dismantling North Korea's nuclear program has been deferred and significant technical and legal hurdles remain'' before the agreed framework can be completed, the letter said.
Gallucci and the other signers of the letter form an independent task force on Korean issues, sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, an influential foreign policy think tank. The letter was released by the organization.
The so-called agreed framework, struck by former President Bill Clinton in October 1994, calls on North Korea to dismantle a graphite-moderated nuclear reactor in return for a U.S. commitment to build two light-water reactors and the supply of fuel oil until one of the reactors begins operation.
Some Republican lawmakers have urged Bush to modify the 1994 accord, arguing that North Korea should be given a conventional thermal-power plant, and not two light-water nuclear reactors.
Secretary of State Colin Powell has hinted at the possibility of modifying the agreement without elaborating on details.
In the letter, Gallucci and others said the Bush administration should invite all major parties in the U.S.-led consortium to build the two light water reactors -- Japan, South Korea and the European Union -- to talks to review the agreement.
''There should be no unilateral changes by any party,'' the letter said.