It was a bright Sunday morning in early June, 1934. I was 19 years old, the right time to be leaving home. I carried a small rolled-up tent, a violin in a blanket, a change of clothes, a tin of treacle biscuits, and some cheese. My 3 sisters and one brother had already gone before me and two brothers had yet to make up their minds.
The last I saw of my country home as a I left it to discover the world, was the stooping figure of my mother. She stood bent at the top of the bank, silently watching me go, not questioning why I went, juts one gnarled red hand raised in farewell and blessing. Then I turned the corner, and closed that part of my life forever.
I was persuaded to leave by the traditional forces that had sent many generations. The thought never came into my mind that others had done this before me. And now I was on my journey.
Naturally, I was going to London, a hundred miles to east. But, as I had never yet seen the sea, I thought to walk by the coast and find it. This would add another 100 miles, but I had all the time to spend.
My excitement was steadily declined as I felt really alone at last. A growing reluctance weighed me down. I found my self longing for something that could stop me> But, none came. I was free. The day's silence said it all, "Go, where you want. You asked for it. It's all yours. You are on your own now, and no one is going to stop you." I was hurt by echoes of home.
Even though U. S. President George W. Bush had named North Korea as a part of an “Axis of Evil” following the September 11, 2001 attacks, U. S. officials stated that the United States was not planning any immediate military action. According to John Feffer, co-director of the think tank Foreign Policy in Focus, the primary problem is that the current U. S. administration fundamentally doesn’t want an agreement with North Korea. The Bush administration considers the 1994 Agreed Framework to have been a flawed agreement. It doesn’t want be saddled with a similar agreement, for if it did sign one, it would then be open to charges of “appeasing” Pyongyang. The vice President has summed up the approach as: “We don’t negotiate with evil, we defeat evil.” American ire at North Korea is further inflamed by allegations of state-sponsored drug smuggling, money laundering, and wide scale counterfeiting. Diplomatic efforts at resolving the North Korean situation are complicated by the different goals and interests of the nations of the region. While none of the parties desire a North Korea with nuclear weapons, Japan and South Korea are especially concerned about North Korean counter-strikes following possible military action against North Korea. The People’s Republic of China and South Korea are also very worried about the economic and social consequences should this situation cause the North Korean government to collapse. In early 2000 the Zurich-based company ABB was awarded the contract to provide the design and key components for two light-water nuclear reactors to North Korea.
North Korea maintains uranium mines with an estimated four million tons of exploitable high-quality uranium ore. Information on the state and quality of their mines is lacking, but it is estimated that the ore contains approximately 0.8% extractable uranium. In the mid-1960s, it established a large-scale atomic energy research complex in Yongbyon and trained specialists from students who had studied in the Soviet Union. Under the cooperation agreement concluded between the USSR and the DPRK, a nuclear research center was constructed near the small town of Yongbyon. In 1965 a Soviet IRT-2M research reactor was assembled for this center. From 1965 through 1973 fuel (fuel elements) enriched to 10 percent was supplied to the DPRK for this reactor.
In the 1970s it focused study on the nuclear fuel cycle including refining, conversion and fabrication. In 1974 Korean specialists independently modernized Soviet IRT-2M research reactor in the same way that other reactors operating in the USSR and other countries had been modernized, bringing its capacity up to 8 megawatts and switching to fuel enriched to 80 percent. Subsequently, the degree of fuel enrichment was reduced. In the same period the DPRK began to build a 5 MWe research reactor, what is called the “second reactor.” In the 1977 the DPRK concluded an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), allowing the latter to inspect a research reactor which was built with the assistance of the USSR. The North Korean nuclear weapons program dates back to the 1980s. In the 1980s, focusing on practical uses of nuclear energy and the completion of a nuclear weapon development system, North Korea began to operate facilities for uranium fabrication and conversion. It began construction of a 200 MWe nuclear reactor and nuclear reprocessing facilities in Taechon and Youngbyon, respectively, and conducted high-explosive detonation tests. In 1985 US officials announced for the first time that they had intelligence data proving that a secret nuclear reactor was being built 90 km north of Pyongyang near the small town of Yongbyon. The installation at Yongbyon had been known for eight years from official IAEA reports. In 1985, under intenational pressure, Pyongyang acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). However the DPRK refused to sign a safeguards agreement with the International Weapons (NPT). However, the DPRK refused to sign a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an obligation it had as a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.