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Last Updated: Friday, 21 November, 2003, 21:33 GMT
N Korea plants project suspended
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il
North Korea has not met certain conditions, says Kedo
An international consortium established to build nuclear power plants in North Korea has decided to suspend the project for one year.

The group, known as Kedo and including directors from the United States, the European Union, South Korea and Japan, said work would stop on 1 December.

Washington has argued strongly against the construction of the plants.

The project began in 1994 as part of a deal that aimed to prevent Pyongyang from developing nuclear weapons.

Conditions 'not met'

The US accuses North Korea of reneging on its part of the pact after it allegedly launched an illegal program to enrich uranium for weapons' production last year.

Kedo executives have been meeting throughout November in New York to decide the project's fate.

They had delayed making a decision on the future of the plants in order to seek advice from their respective governments.

But on Friday, the group's spokesman Roland Tricot said "given that the conditions necessary for continuing the light water reactor project have not been met by the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea]," Kedo had decided to suspend the project.

The suspension comes as officials attempt to reconvene six-nation talks on the nuclear crisis which ended unsuccessfully in August.

Some 600 employees are currently working on the project.

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