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S. Korea, U.S. to hold high-level nuclear energy panel session next month

All News 09:39 March 04, 2016

SEOUL, March 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States have launched a joint high-level committee, charged with enforcing a bilateral nuclear energy partnership accord, and will hold its first session in Seoul next month, the Foreign Ministry here said Friday.

The two sides will hold the inaugural session on April 14 with Second Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall serving as co-chairs of the committee.

The nuclear energy accord, reached last year, allows Seoul to expand its peaceful nuclear activity through research into a nascent nuclear-reprocessing technology, known as "pyroprocessing." The U.S. also agreed to continue discussions on allowing South Korea to produce low-enriched uranium.

The deal was reached after years of negotiations as some in the U.S. worried about its effect on the country's nonproliferation drive.

The ministry said the two sides agreed to set up four panels under the high-level commission to each handle one of four issues: managing spent nuclear fuel, securing nuclear fuel supplies, exporting nuclear energy plants and ensuring nuclear security.

Each panel will report their terms of reference and work plans at the commission's first meeting next month.

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