BERKELEY, CA, MARCH
17, 2001 -- A five-person delegation of North Korean engineers
today completed a three-week visit to the United States to study renewable
energy issues at the invitation of the Berkeley-based Nautilus Institute
for Security & Sustainable Development.
"Exchanges like this are essential to promoting peace and sustainable
development on the Korean Peninsula," said Nautilus Executive Director
Peter Hayes. "At a time when
U.S.-DPRK rapprochement is coming under
fire in many circles, this kind of visit demonstrates that Americans
and North Koreans can collaborate on technical exchanges to solve humanitarian
The visit was the third such training mission to the U.S. hosted by
Nautilus. Previous energy delegations visited April-May of 1999 and
December of 1997. Nautilus has sent three delegations of American engineers
to the DPRK in May and October of 1998, and September of 2000, to install
seven wind turbines and a water-lifting windmill.
The delegation consisted of three engineers and a translator from
the Nonconventional Energy Development Center in Pyongyang, along with
Kim Il Bong, Secretary-General of the Korean Anti-Nuke Peace Committee,
which has been working with Nautilus on the cooperative development
of renewable energy in the DPRK.
The delegates, who arrived on February 23, participated in a multilateral
meeting of the East Asian Energy Futures
(EAEF) project, along with experts from South Korea, Japan, Russia,
China, and the United States.
"It was interesting to watch the North and South Koreans interact,"
said Timothy Savage, Program Officer
for Northeast Asia in the Nautilus Institute's Program on Global Peace
& Security. "Many of them had met at the previous EAEF meeting in Beijing
last June, and they were quite friendly and relaxed in each other's
Following the meeting, EAEF participants took part in a five-day training
on the use of the Long-range Energy
Alternatives Planning (LEAP) System conducted by Nautilus Senior
Associate David Von Hippel.
During the remaining two weeks of their stay, the DPRK engineers participated
in a series of workshops and trainings. The delegates were taught the
basics of email and web use, and spent several hours searching the worldwide
web for information on renewable technology. They discussed the installation
and use of an ultraviolet water purification unit transferred by Nautilus
during last September's mission with water sanitation expert David Greene.
Dr. Ramesh Bhatia of the University of California, Davis taught the
delegates about the use of biogas technologies in India and China, and
discussed its applicability to the North Korean context. Kirk Smith,
Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California,
Berkeley (UCB), and Chairman of the Nautilus Board of Directors, discussed
household environmental pollution with the delegates. They also received
presentations on fuel cells, biomass, solar, and wind power from scientists
at the Renewable
& Appropriate Energy Laboratory at UCB, led by Professor Dan Kammen.
Field trips included visits to the Institute
for Solar Living; the Power Works windmill site at Altamont Pass;
the Tracy Biomass Plant, and Xantrex in Livermore.
The delegation also traveled down to Stanford University to meet with
members of the Center
for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), including Dr.
William Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and DPRK Policy Coordinator
under former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Nautilus personnel and North
Korean delegates jointly presented their project to the CISAC members
The delegation also visited the Ploughshares
Fund, a major donor for international security issues, and met with
founder and President Sally Lilienthal and Executive Director Naila
During their stay, the DPRK delegation had ongoing discussions with
Nautilus staff about the future of their joint collaboration, and reached
some tentative agreements on next steps.
The next Nautilus mission to the DPRK is scheduled for September, 2001.
For more information: Please contact Tim Savage at TSavage@nautilus.org or (510) 295-6124.