농축 우라늄에 의한 핵개발 의혹에 대하여 중국이 다시 문제 제기를 하였군요.
북한은 2002년 당시부터 공식적으로 계속 부인해 오고 있으며, 지난 번 제1차 6자회담에서도 다시 공개적으로 그것을 부인한 바가 있습니다. 물론 미국은 반대로 북한이 농축 우라늄에 의한 핵개발 프로그램을 가지고 있다는 것을 확신하고 있습니다.
아래 첫 번 째는 연합뉴스 기사이고, 후자는 관련된 워싱턴 포스트지 기사 전문입니다.
국무부 "북한 고농축 우라늄 프로그램 보유"
=WP "중국은 확신못한다"
(워싱턴=연합뉴스) 김성수 특파원=미국은 북한이 핵무기 개발과 관련해 고농축 우라늄 프로그램을 가지고 있는 것으로 확실히 알고 있다고 국무부 당국이 7일 밝혔다.
리처드 바우처 국무부 대변인은 이날 정례 브리핑에서 중국측이 북한의 핵무기용 우라늄 농축 프로그램 추진에 대한 미국측 주장을 확신할 수 없다는 입장을 밝혔다는 미국 언론 보도에 대해 "중국이 북한의 고농축 프로그램에 의혹을 제기했다고 진실로 생각지 않는다"고 말했다.
바우처 대변인은 "북한이 핵무기용 고농축 우라늄을 위한 프로그램을 갖은 것으로 안다"며 "북한도 그같은 프로그램을 갖고 있다고 시인하고 있다"고 덧붙였다. 이어 바우처 대변인은 "북한은 그같은 프로그램의 개발의도를 인정해왔다"면서 "그 문제는 우리가 현재 해결책을 모색하고 있는 현안"이라고 지적했다.
바우처 대변인은 북한은 자신들의 행동에 대해 때에 따라 다른 말을 하고 있지만 북한 당국은 핵폭탄 개발을 위한 재처리를 진행중이라면서 노농축 우라늄 프로그램을 인정해왔다고 말했다.
바우처 대변인은 북핵 6자회담 미국측 대표인 제임스 켈리 국무부 동아태 담당 차관보가 북측에 이 문제를 제기한 바 있으며 당시 북한도 그같은 프로그램을 가지고 있다고 받아들였다고 설명했다.
이와 관련해 일간 워싱턴 포스트는 7일 미국 관리들의 말을 인용해 6자 후속회담 문제를 논의하기 위해 지난 연말 서울에서 열린 한-중-일 실무관리 회동에서 북한이 핵무기용 우라늄 농축 프로그램을 추진하고 있다는 미국의 주장에 대해 중국이 `확신할 수 없다'는 입장을 표명했다고 보도했다.
2004/01/08 07:13 송고
Chinese Not Convinced of North Korean Uranium Effort
By Glenn Kessler
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 7, 2004; Page A16
China told Asian diplomats last week it is not convinced of U.S. claims that North Korea has a clandestine program to enrich uranium for use in nuclear weapons, according to U.S. officials who have been briefed on the discussions.
The previously unreported conversation -- raising doubts about the central element in the Bush administration's case against Pyongyang -- underscores how Chinese and U.S. aims appear to be diverging in the diplomatic effort to restrain North Korea's nuclear ambitions. China has taken the lead in organizing another round of six-nation talks, but the effort has bogged down over disputes among the parties about the scope and content of the negotiations.
North Korea yesterday announced what it called a "bold concession" of offering to freeze both its nuclear weapons production and its nuclear power facility as "first-phase measures" of a package deal that would call for the United States to lift sanctions and provide energy aid. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said the statement was "a positive step" that could lead to a rapid resumption of talks.
The talks have not been scheduled in part because of U.S. insistence that a statement issued after the talks include North Korea's agreement to a "complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement" of its nuclear programs. Asian and U.S. officials said yesterday that both sides now appear willing to go into the talks without a joint statement agreed on in advance, even though there are concerns that an open-ended session could result in little movement by either side.
Some U.S. officials are worried that the Chinese effort to play down the revelations about North Korea's uranium enrichment program suggests Beijing is preparing the diplomatic groundwork to merely freeze the nuclear facility at Yongbyon, while leaving aside the issue of nuclear enrichment. Yongbyon once before was shuttered under a 1994 agreement between the United States and North Korea.
U.S. officials have said that North Korean officials admitted they had a clandestine program during a meeting in October 2002 -- which sparked the current crisis -- but the North Koreans have since denied that.
"As long as they continue to deny the existence of the highly enriched uranium program, it is guaranteed the talks will fail," one administration official said. "We cannot have a long-term solution to the problem if we cannot agree on the facts."
Although the Bush administration has been deeply divided over how to respond to the North Korean crisis, there is little disagreement inside the government over the intelligence indicating North Korea has been secretly building uranium enrichment capability in violation of the 1994 accord. The main question has been when the program would be fully functioning and capable of making fissile material, with the Energy Department and Defense Intelligence Agency estimating the end of this year and the CIA and State Department providing a more conservative forecast of 2006 or 2007.
U.S. officials briefed key allies, including China, on the highlights of its evidence immediately after the October 2002 confrontation with North Korean officials. Citing the admission, the U.S. cut off shipments of heavy oil to Pyongyang, saying the 1994 agreement had been nullified. North Korea then evicted United Nations inspectors from Yongbyon and said it had begun reprocessing spent fuel rods into plutonium for weapons.
But last week, at a meeting in Seoul between Chinese, South Korean and Japanese officials on the North Korean crisis, one of the most senior Chinese diplomats dealing with the issue declared China did not believe North Korea had a highly enriched uranium program, according to U.S. officials who have been informed about the meeting by the Japanese.
At the meeting, the Chinese official, Fu Ying, and her Japanese counterpart, Mitoji Yabunaka, were discussing a possible freeze of North Korea's nuclear programs when Yabunaka noted it would be necessary to freeze both Yongbyon and the highly enriched uranium program.
Fu responded that North Korea has denied having an enrichment program, and that China also did not believe that it had one. She added that the U.S. government briefing provided to China had not been sufficient to convince China that North Korea had such a program.
Chinese officials, in their own briefing to U.S. officials on the talks, said that Fu merely noted to Yabunaka that the United States and North Korea have not come to an agreement on whether the enrichment program exists.
Chas Freeman, a former assistant secretary of defense and senior U.S. diplomat in China, said to some extent the administration is paying the price for the controversy over its intelligence on Iraq's weapons. "Post-Iraq, the credibility of U.S. intelligence is not very high" around the world, he said.
But Freeman said that increasingly "we've been the odd man out" among the five nations meeting with North Korea on the crisis, offering a policy that he described as "all sticks and no carrots." He said China usually has wanted stability on the North Korean peninsula above all else, but lately has adopted the U.S. goal of a nuclear-free peninsula. "If they have doubts about the evidential basis of our concern," he said, China may be reverting to its traditional goal of stability.
Sun Weide, spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, checked with Beijing on the Japanese account of the meeting. He noted that at the first round of six-nation talks in August, North Korea and the United States disagreed on whether Pyongyang had been pursuing uranium enrichment.
"China has never taken part in DPRK's nuclear program," Sun said, using the initials for North Korea's official name. "We have no knowledge of DPRK's nuclear program or its capabilities. We do not know if DPRK has a HEU [highly enriched uranium] program. According to our understanding, the Japanese are not completely aware of the situation, either."
Japanese officials declined to comment.
A nongovernmental delegation, including a former State Department official, flew yesterday from Beijing to Pyongyang after receiving hints from the North Korean government that it may be able to visit the Yongbyon facility. U.S. officials view the offer as another attempt by the North Koreans to shift the focus from the uranium enrichment project, whose location has not been determined.
"It is very easy to freeze Yongbyon," one official said. "It is not the most interesting place to be in North Korea right now."
Correspondent Philip P. Pan in Beijing contributed to this report.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company