South Korea and United States Attempting to Finalize Nuclear Agreement

D-Bo , Feb. 9, 2015, 10:06 a.m.

A lot of progress has been made in talks on revising the Korea-U.S. nuclear agreement and the two sides will do their best to finalize it in a few weeks, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and his U.S. counterpart John Kerry said Saturday. 

The two met for the first time this year on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.  The bilateral nuclear agreement signed in 1974 was supposed to expire in March last year, but negotiations to revise the pact that started in 2010 led to no consensus. Instead the deadline was extended to March next year.

Korea wants permission to enrich uranium and reprocess its own spent nuclear fuel, which is piling up in storage.  On the question of reprocessing, the two sides reportedly came close to agreeing on some expansion of Korea's rights so that it can carry out research and development. 

On exports of nuclear plants and containing nuclear waste rods, the U.S. also made some small concessions.  The two top diplomats also agreed that President Park Geun-hye will visit the U.S. again this year. Park went to Washington for a summit in 2013, and U.S. President Barack Obama paid a visit to Korea last year. 

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