- Press Releases
Outcome of 2nd Plenary Meeting of ROK-UAE High-Level Consultation on Nuclear Cooperation
1. The 2nd Plenary Meeting of the Republic of Korea (ROK)-United Arab Emirates (UAE) High-level Consultation on Nuclear Cooperation, co-chaired by 2nd Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Lee Tae-ho and Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, took place in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, November 27.
2. At the meeting, the two sides agreed that cooperation in the area of nuclear energy will evolve and develop into a core pillar, thereby promoting a special strategic partnership between the two countries.
○ The year 2020 is particularly meaningful in that it marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. As historic projects such as the fueling of the Barakah nuclear power plant and launching of its commercial operation are scheduled to take place, the two sides agreed to make joint efforts to substantially advance the special strategic partnership.
3. The co-chairs and delegations of the two countries were briefed on the progress in the cooperation projects by the three working groups including the construction of nuclear power plants, research and development of nuclear technology, and nuclear safety and security regulation. They also had in-depth discussions on matters of mutual interest of the respective groups.
○ “The Working Group on the Barakah nuclear power plant and cooperation in jointly entering third countries” shared the progress in building the Barakah nuclear power plant as well as future plans, and discussed ways of cooperation in all areas related to nuclear energy including operation, design, maintenance and nuclear fuels. The group, in particular, decided to make concerted efforts between the two countries to develop an effective cooperation model in a bid to jointly enter nuclear power plant markets in the third countries.
○ After reaching an agreement to strengthen research and development cooperation at the 1st meeting last year, “the Working Group on research and development of nuclear science and technology” noted that there were substantial achievements at the 2nd meeting such as the establishment of the “Emirates Nuclear Technology Center (ENTC)” and the conclusion of the “Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation in the field of Nuclear Research and Development.” Furthermore, they agreed to continue to discuss research topics to be jointly performed between the institutions of the two countries and work together on the basis of such achievements.
○ With “the Working Group on nuclear safety and security regulation” about to obtain the approval of the operation of the Barakah nuclear power plant early next year, the group agreed to expand bilateral cooperation which has been centered on the nuclear non-proliferation to the area of safety regulations in preparation for nuclear power plant operation. They also agreed to continue discussions on ways forward for follow-up cooperation in that regard.
4. The 2nd plenary meeting served as a platform for reviewing the outcomes of the cooperation projects which have been implemented since the establishment and the 1st meeting of the ROK-UAE high-level consultation in November 2018, and for exploring substantive ways of cooperation. The meeting is seen to have functioned as an invaluable opportunity to reaffirm the two countries’ willingness to work together in the strategic nuclear partnership and identify concrete ways of cooperation such as research and development as well as cooperation in the area of safety regulations in preparation for the launch of the commercial operation of the Barakah nuclear power plant.
5. Before the high-level consultation began, the delegates of the two countries, including the co-chairs, successfully established a strong groundwork with the aim of supporting substantive cooperation in research and development of the two countries at the high-level consultation level such as joining the opening ceremony of the Emirates Nuclear Technology Center and concluding an MOU on nuclear research and development cooperation.
6. The two countries decided to hold the 3rd plenary meeting in Seoul in around 2020 and faithfully implement what has been mainly discussed by the working groups at the today’s meetings.
7. While attending the 2nd
high-level consultation, 2nd Vice Minister Lee also
held a meeting with the ROK nuclear energy-related companies based in the UAE.
At the meeting, he explained the results of discussions at the consultation as
well as the significance of future tasks, exchanged views on ways forward for
bilateral cooperation in the field of nuclear energy and listened to the
challenges facing the ROK enterprises.