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[헤커 박사 방북 보고서(영어) 발췌] Report of Visit to DPRK. Pyongyang and the Nuclear Center at Yongbyon
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Report of Visit to DPRK. Pyongyang and the Nuclear Center at Yongbyon


2008.03.28


Report of Visit to the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea (DPRK). Pyongyang and the Nuclear Center at Yongbyon, Feb. 12 - 16, 2008. Prof. Siegfried S. Hecker, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University



My visit was sponsored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Nuclear Threat Initiative. I was accompanied by W. Keith Luse, staff member for Senator Richard Lugar, and Joel S. Wit, former State Department official. This was my fifth visit to the DPRK, and the third to Yongbyon. Discussions in Pyongyangwere held with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At Yongbyon, we were hosted by officials from the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center and officials from the General Department of Atomic Energy. This report is confined to the nuclear issues. I also met with officials from the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Education to explore cooperation in those areas.



Executive Summary - Our visit leads me to conclude that the DPRK leadership has made the decision to permanently shut down plutonium production if the United States and the other four parties live up to their Oct. 3, 2007 commitments. However, they have retained a hedge to be able to restart the facilities if the agreement falls through. We verified that the disablement actions taken to date will effectively delay a potential restart of plutonium production. Cooperation between the U.S. and DPRK technical teams has been excellent, and until the recent slow-down, the two sides struck the proper balance between doing the job expeditiously and doing it safely. By their definition, the DPRK has completed 10 of 12 disablement actions. They have slowed down the last two to actions to allow the other parties to catch up.

- The current six-party process has put within reach a permanent shut-down of the Yongbyon plutonium production complex. To do so, highest priority must be placed on completing the disablement (discharging the reactor fuel and disabling or selling the existing fresh fuel rods) and proceeding to the dismantlement stage. If this is accomplished, then the DPRK will not be able to make more bombs and, without additional nuclear tests, it will not be able to make better bombs.

- It is important to understand and to be prepared for the fact that the DPRK will have to restart the Reprocessing Facility some time in the next year or so to allow for the safe disposal of its high-level radioactive waste and the remaining low-level uranium waste. I also strongly urge reconsideration of the decision to ship the current load of spent fuel out of the DPRK.Technically, it is much more advisable to allow one more reprocessing campaign under IAEA supervision and ship out 12 kg of plutonium rather than 50,000 kg of highly radioactive spent fuel that will have to be processed somewhere.

- If the DPRK decides to break out of the six-party agreement and restart operations, it will have only limited capacity for plutonium production. After a delay of six to 18 months, depending on how far disablement proceeds, they would be able to regain their prior production rate of six kilograms (or roughly one bomb's worth) of plutonium per year. The 50 and 200 MW(electric) reactors do not appear salvageable and, hence, the DPRK will not be able to ramp up plutonium production over the next five to 10 years. If the process proceeds to dismantlement, then no plutonium production is likely for the same time frame.

- Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials stated that they will not proceed with a more complete declaration list until the other parties meet their Oct. 3 commitments. They told us that they reported a total separated plutonium inventory of 30 kilograms (sufficient for four to five bombs) to the United States in November 2007. In response to my comment that this is less than my estimate of 40 to 50 kg based on previous visits and, hence, this would require substantial cooperation on their part to verify the smaller number, MFA officials stated that they are prepared to do so. In response to myquestion about declaration of their weaponization facilities, they said they are also not prepared to do so until the other parties meet their commitments.

- MFA officials also stated that they view the uranium enrichment issue settled. They explained that the extraordinary access U.S.specialists were given to the aluminum tubes in question at a missile factory demonstrates that the DPRK has no such program. They dismissed allegations that they received centrifuges from Pakistan. They also denied nuclear cooperation with Syriaand other countries. When pressed on this issue, they reiterated that they stand by their Oct. 3 commitment not to transfer nuclear materials, technology or know-how to other countries.

- In my view, the most important risk-reduction actions now are to stop the production of more plutonium and to stop export of existing plutonium and nuclear technologies. The current situation puts us within reach of stopping plutonium production for the foreseeable future. The five parties should do everything in their power to get the DPRK to finish the disablement expeditiously and to move on to dismantlement. Whereas the United States should continue to press for a "complete and correct" declaration, it is more important to stop additional production than it is to substantiate whether the current inventory is 30 kg or 50 kg and to find out to exactly what level they developed uranium enrichment. However, it is imperative that the DPRK leadership understands that any previous or future export of fissile materials (or of nuclear weapons) represents a red line and cannot be tolerated by the United States and the other parties.

- Although the DPRK has put nuclear worker reorientation on the back burner waiting for the next stage, we had substantial discussions about potential prospects. We learned much about the current status of the IRT-2000 research reactor, which could be reconfigured for research and medical applications.

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