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Introduction The Korean Peninsula remains one of the most unstable and dangerous places in the world today Forty-five years after the armistice 37000 American troops together with their colleagues from the ROK face more than a million North Korean troops across the demilitarized zone One of the most dangerous moments of that tense history was just four years ago in the summer of 1994 In 1993 isolated by the transformations of its Cold War patrons and facing a southern neighbor with growing economic power and global stature North Korea began to bring its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons to fulfillment Kim Il Sungs engineers had completed a large-scale plant to reprocess plutonium from spent fuel produced by North Koreas Soviet-designed graphite-moderated reactor In addition the North had begun constructing two larger graphite-moderated reactors which in addition to being of unsafe design would be capable of producing enough plutonium for a significant nuclear arsenal within a few short years Disputes over past production of plutonium and the monitoring of nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency led the DPRK to announce in June 1994 its withdrawal from the IAEA the North was also on the verge of carrying out its threat to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty or NPT When the DPRK subsequently began to defuel its reactor without the IAEAs presence which would make confirmation of past production of plutonium more difficult the security situation on the Korean Peninsula was as tense as it has been at any point since the cessation of open hostilities in 1953 Military forces on both sides were augmented and placed on high alert Fortunately a negotiated solution was found and a crisis averted The result of these negotiations was the 1994 US-DPRK Agreed Framework To date the Agreed Framework has been a success The Norths indigenous nuclear program at Yongbyon remains frozen the canning of the DPRKs spent fuel is now virtually complete and
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