8- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 20, 2005 NEWS
North Korea will not dismantle nuclear program
Pyongyang says it will
abandon its weapons program
if the U.S. provides a light-water
reactor for civilian nuclear
power, a request Washington
has consistently refused
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North
Korea said today it would not dismantle its
nuclear weapons program until the United
States first provides an atomic energy reac-
tor, casting doubt on its commitment to a
breakthrough agreement reached at interna-
tional arms talks.
The North had insisted since arms talks
began last week in Beijing that it be given a
light-water reactor, a type less easily divert-
ed for weapons use, in exchange for aban-
doning nuclear weapons. The agreement
reached at the talks' end yesterday - the
first since the negotiations began in August
2003 - says the six countries in the nego-
tiations will discuss the reactor issue "at an
The surprise announcement came just a
day after the North agreed to give up its arms
efforts and accept inspections by the Inter-
national Atomic Energy Agency in exchange
for energy, economic and security aid.
"We will return to the NPT and sign the
safeguards agreement with the IAEA and
comply with it immediately upon the U.S.
provision of LWRs, a basis of confidence-
building to us," the North's Foreign Ministry
said in the statement, carried by the North's
official Korean Central News Agency.
"The U.S. should not even dream of the
issue of (North Korea's) dismantlement of its
nuclear deterrent before providing LWRs,"
the North said.
The impact of the North's statement today
on the Beijing agreement wasn't immedi-
ately clear. During the years of debate over
its weapons program, the communist nation
has sometimes given confusing or dramat-
The surprise announcement came just a day after
the North agreed to give up its arms efforts and
accept inspections by the International Atomic
Energy Agency in exchange for energy, economic
and security aid.
ic statements as it publicly maneuvers for
Other countries at the talks made clear
that the reactor could only be discussed
after the North rejoins the Nuclear Non-
proliferation Treaty and accepts inspec-
tions from the International Atomic Energy
Agency - which North Korea pledged to do
in yesterday's agreement.
U.S. State Department spokesman Adam
Ereli emphasized earlier in Washington that
the "appropriate time" for discussing the
reactor means only after the North comes in
compliance with those conditions.
"It's a theoretical proposition in the
future, contingent on dismantling having
taken place, resigning up to the NPT and
having IAEA safeguards in place," he said
yesterday in Washington.
However, the North's interpretation of that
agreement was decidedly different, saying in
today's statement said that its most serious dif-
ferences with the U.S. were the North's "right
to nuclear activity for a peaceful purpose, to
be specific, the issue of the U.S. provision of
light water reactors (LWR) to the former."
The North's position is likely to be a
major sticking point in talks slated to begin
in early November on implementing yester-
The North had demanded during the six-
nation talks in Beijing - which include
China, Japan, Russia, the United States and
the two Koreas - that it be allowed to keep
a civilian nuclear program for power gen-
eration after it disarms.
But the United States strongly opposed
the demand, and yesterday's agreement only
acknowledged that the North had "stated"
its claim to that right.
The administration of U.S. President
George W. Bush has opposed anything
resembling a 1994 U.S.-North Korea agree-
ment, which promised the North two light-
water reactors for power. That project
stalled amid the current crisis that broke
out in late 2002 over the North's resumed
nuclear weapons program.
German party leaders seek
majority bloc after elections
Neither Schroeder's Social
Democrats nor Merkel's
Christian Democrats win
clear victory in elections
BERLIN (AP) - Conservative leader
Angela Merkel and the chairman of Chan-
cellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Demo-
crats said yesterday they both had initiated
contacts with potential coalition partners
as they wrestled over what government will
emerge from Germany's inconclusive parlia-
Merkel urged her rival's party to "accept
that they are not the strongest party" after
Sunday's election and enter talks on a broad
right-left alliance under her leadership. But
within minutes, the chairman of the Social
Democrats, Franz Muentefering, said he had
written to other party leaders to invite them
to hold talks on a new coalition.
"I have initiated contact with the offices"
of the other parties, Merkel said.
She added that she, like Schroeder, would
refuse to hold talks with the Left Party - an
alliance of ex-communists and former Social
Democrats angered by the chancellor's
efforts to trim the welfare state.
Muentefering said any linkup between his
party and Merkel's would be without Merkel
"The message was clear: This country
does not want Mrs. Merkel as chancel-
lor," he said.
Voters denied a majority to both Schroed-
er's outgoing government of Social Demo-
crats and Greens and Merkel's preferred
combination of her Christian Democrats and
the pro-business Free Democrats.
As Germany's benchmark stock market
and the euro dropped amid gloom over the
muddled outcome, leaders of the main par-
ties met in Berlin to plan their next move.
Official results showed Merkel's party
and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian
Social Union, winning 225 seats, three more
than the Social Democrats. The Free Demo-
crats got 61, the Greens 51 and the new Left
Party, an alliance of ex-communists and for-
mer Social Democrats alienated by Schroed-
er's efforts to trim the welfare state, 54.
Those results were based on counting
from 298 of 299 districts; voting in the final
district, in the eastern city of Dresden, has
been delayed until Oct. 2 because of a can-
Schroeder refused to back off his claim to
form a new coalition, saying that his party
"has made clear its will to lead this country
"Our task is to implement this declared
will of our whole party, and we will do that,"
he told cheering supporters in a brief appear-
ance at the Social Democrats' headquarters.
He did not elaborate.
"I do not rule out anybody revising their
position," Merkel said of Schroeder. She said
a new government should be formed quickly,
adding that "we are not playing for time."
A "grand coalition" of the two main par-
ties appeared a likely outcome.
Conservative leaders said they also would
seek talks with the Greens on a three-way
combination that would include the Free
Democrats. Foreign Minister Joschka Fisch-
er, who led the Greens' campaign, said he
would not serve in a Merkel Cabinet.
"We are interested in content," Greens co-
leader Claudia Roth said on ARD television.
"We are not interested just in governing, we
are interested in politics."
Merkel likely will have to water down
plans to shake up Germany's labor market
and reform its tax system to gain a majority
with a party to her left. To woo the Greens,
she likely would have to soften plans to halt
the outgoing government's program of shut-
ting down nuclear power plants. Her opposi-
tion to Turkish membership in the European
Union also is up in the air.
German share prices dropped following
Merkel's failure to gain a clear mandate to
deepen reform of Europe's biggest economy,
which suffers from an 11.4 percent jobless
rate. Frankfurt's DAX index of blue chip
stocks was down 1.1 percent in early after-
Schroeder, who described the conser-
vatives' result as "disastrous," taunted
Merkel in a joint television appearance
Sunday night, saying she would not receive
the post of chancellor in any deal with the
Angela Merkel, chancellor candidate for Germany's Christian Democratic Union, speaks at the "Eve-
ning of the Automotive Industry" during the 61st International Auto Show in Frankfurt, Germany yes-
terday. Merkel made her first contacts with potential coalition partners yesterday.
Life of an Investment Banking Analyst
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