North Korea Deal Complicates Nuclear Policy

The U.S.-North Korea accord, hailed by U.S. officials as the best solution in a difficult situation, could create problems for controlling nuclear exports to other sensitive countries.

The October agreement opens three North Korean reactors and a plutonium plant to international inspections and prevents 8,000 spent fuel rods from being reprocessed into weapon material. However, the agreement marks the first time the United States has arranged for a country in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) to get nuclear reactors. This precedent could make it difficult to block sales of Chinese, Russian or German reactors to Iran, a country that has not openly broken the Treaty but which the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) suspects of running a secret bomb program.

Phases of the U.S.-North Korean Accord

What North Korea Does

Phase One: 1994-2000
Freezes, under inspection, three reactors, a plutonium plant, and 8,000 plutonium-bearing fuel rods
Allows inspection of declared nuclear sites

Phase Two: 2000-2003
Allows full inspection of two suspect sites thought to contain evidence of bomb-making
Answers all questions about its nuclear past
Sends 8,000 plutonium-bearing fuel rods out of the country

Phase Three: 2003-2005
Dismantles existing graphite reactors and plutonium plant

In Addition
Resumes diplomatic dialogue on denuclearization with South Korea

What North Korea Gets

Phase One: 1994-2000
Free oil, new reactors and aid, while keeping any plutonium or A-bombs it has already made and being freed from trade sanctions

Phase Two: 2000-2003
Increased level of aid
Key nuclear components to complete first light water reactor

Phase Three: 2003-2005
Completion of second light water reactor

In addition
U.S. pledges not to use nuclear weapons against North Korea