Capitalists fund N Korea's nuclear reactors

A consortium of capitalist nations broke ground yesterday for a landmark nuclear project in Communist North Korea that Washington and Seoul have said is key to preserving peace on the peninsula. Puffs of pink, green, orange and yellow smoke belched from a hillside in the north- eastern town of Kumho as officials of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organisation (Kedo) triggered a "symbolic blast".

Kedo, led by the US, South Korea and Japan, is responsible for financing two 1,000MW light-water reactors at an estimated cost of $4.5-$5bn (pounds 2.8- 3bn). The reactors are to be delivered in return for Pyongyang's 1994 promise to freeze and eventually dismantle its suspected atomic weapons programme. Reuters - Kumho