South Korea and the United Arab Emirates launched a high-level dialogue channel on nuclear cooperation on Friday, in another sign of their expanding partnership.
The two countries held the inaugural session of the High-Level Consultation in Seoul, led by Seoul’s Vice Foreign Minister, Lee Tae-ho, and Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei, the UAE minister of energy and industry.
They agreed to install the dialogue channel during South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s state visit to the Middle East country in March. It deals with joint efforts to export nuclear reactors to a third country, nuclear security, safety and regulation, research and development.
“This channel will serve as another very important, pivotal pillar for our bilateral relations,” Lee said in his opening remarks.
“We started the construction of the power plant, but now we are talking about the nuclear research and development, and nuclear security, human resources development and even regulations. So we are indeed expanding very fast the area of our cooperation,” he added.
South Korea won a $20 billion contract in 2009 to construct four nuclear reactors in Barakah, UAE. Since then, the two countries have been pushing to expand cooperation in nuclear and other sectors.
The UAE minister voiced hope for close cooperation with Korea in research and development in the nuclear sector.
“Participation together in the R&D is very critical. We aspire to work with you in creating R&D, the specialized R&D that will improve the technology for the conditions in the Middle East and in Barakah,” he said. “The focused R&D is very important for us to improve.”
He also stressed the importance of the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
“We are keen on insisting on the peacefulness of every program in the region and I think it is the same aspiration for you.
“Whatever we do in the UAE in this program, I think it is going to be a model for the other projects in the region. We look forward to tangible delivery on each one of those groups,” he added. (Yonhap)