The South Korean government declared that it would cancel the conditions of aiding North Korea with 50,000tons of fuel in the case that North Korea did not fulfill the preliminary measures of the Feb 13 Agreement by the set deadline April 14th. Today is the 18th, yet the contract still remains untouched.
In the case that North Korea was idle in its actions, the government stated that another high level talks revolving North Korea nuclear relations would be opened to cancel the 50,000 ton fuel contract initially set up, and declared that a new contract would be proposed only under the conditions that North Korea proved that changes had been made following inspections by the IAEA.
Nevertheless, 60days have passed and still authorities have yet to cancel the initial contract.
In a conversation with the DailyNK, an official of the Ministry of Unification revealed, “At present, for the sake of aiding the North with fuel, we have maintained the contract with the chartered vessels of a Chinese shipping company” and said, “The government wants to be a little more patient.”
On March 7th, the government selected GS Caltex to sponsor the fuel for North Korea and signed a contract with a Chinese shipping company to provide 3 oil tankers during the period of March 25th~April 20th. In the case that North Korea displayed tardiness, this contract was supposed to be revoked.
However, the contract has yet to be annulled and as a result, the storage of fuel is costing the government 10mn won a day in addition to 70mn won in fees and charges. Another concern is whether or not the government will be faced with damages for breach of contract as the initial contract with the Chinese shipping company is valid until the 20th.
Hence, if the government does not act up until the 20th, it is simply throwing away a total of 360mn won in storage fees and charges.
Conversely, Minister Kim Yong Gab of the Grand National Party said, “As a result of tactless optimistic haste regarding the Feb 13 Agreement, we are losing 350mn won in fuel charges” and asserted, “The Minister of Unification Lee Jae Jung needs to take responsibility for his rash decisions and provide some sort of compensation.”