South Korea, in an effort to defuse the nuclear crisis with the north, has offered Pyongyang a vast supply of badly needed electricity. The offer was made by South Korean Unification Minister Chung Dong Young in June during a visit to the north, but was kept secret until July 12, when U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Seoul. The south would supply up to 2,000 megawatts of power if North Korea agreed to dismantle its nuclear-weapons program. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il made no commitment, but the offer apparently played a crucial role in coaxing North Korea to renew long-postponed six-nation talks on the nuclear issue later this month.
EDITED BY Edited by Michael S. Serrill