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Nuclear North Korea: 6 ways it differs from Iran

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The Shin Kori No. 3 reactor of state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) is seen in Ulsan, about 255 miles southeast of Seoul in this Sept. 3, 2013 file photo. In the 1990s, KEPCO was going to build nuclear energy reactors for North Korea.

Lee Jae-Won/Reuters/File

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2. Isn’t North Korea also interested in producing nuclear energy for its dilapidated power system?

Under terms of the 1994 Geneva framework agreement between North Korea and the US, the North was to have received two nuclear energy reactors. South Korea’s Korea Electric Power Corporation agreed to build them at a cost of $4 billion at a site on the North Korean east coast, while Japan pledged $1 billion to the program to help cover the costs. For its part, the US shipped 500,000 tons of heavy fuel oil a year, worth $50 million, to North Korea for power generation. The agreement broke down in 2002 after it was revealed that even though North Korea had kept its promise to stop producing plutonium for warheads, it had started a new program to develop warheads with enriched uranium. North Korea is now working on a 200-megawatt facility for producing nuclear energy but faces severe problems due to international sanctions over the North's nuclear weapon program.  

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