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S. Korea, US to cooperate for optimising nuclear proliferation resistance

IANS | April 22, 2024 10:47 AM

SEOUL: South Korea will join hands with the US in optimising nuclear proliferation resistance in its research reactors for export, Seoul's science ministry said on Monday.

A joint statement issued by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) said the two countries plan to collaborate on designing research reactors and associated facilities developed by South Korea under the NNSA's Proliferation Resistance Optimisation-X (PRO-X) programme, according to the ministry.

Proliferation resistance refers to a nuclear energy system characteristic that impedes the diversion or undeclared production of nuclear material, or misuse of technology with the purpose of acquiring nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

It is intended to maintain the safety and peaceful use missions of these systems, reports Yonhap news agency.

The two countries expect their cooperation to help other nations to develop and operate research reactors under the nuclear nonproliferation principles, said the ministry.

In addition, the ministry said South Korea, the U.S. and Japan are planning to sign a memorandum of cooperation later this week to push for the facilitation of joint research projects of research institutes and people-to-people exchanges of the three countries.

The trilateral cooperation plan comes as part of a follow-up to an agreement reached among President Yoon Suk Yeol, US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during their Camp David summit last year to bolster three-way cooperation in almost all areas, including science and technology.

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