Seoul Lobbies US Hard for OK to Make Nuclear Fuel
Fear move could spark regional arms race
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2013 4:38 AM CDT
Updated Apr 3, 2013 5:51 AM CDT
A woman looks at diagrams showing the use of uranium for a nuclear bomb and nuclear power generation at the Seoul Science Park.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

(Newser) – In a move unlikely to calm nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula, South Korea is pushing the US hard for permission to start creating its own nuclear fuel. The request comes amid a renegotiation of Seoul's 1972 nuclear cooperation pact with the US but while South Korea stresses it isn't trying to match the North's ability to build nuclear weapons, analysts say Seoul has no economic or practical reason to seek the ability to enrich uranium and reprocess fuel from its 22 nuclear reactors, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Seoul argues that it should not be forced to rely on foreign countries for nuclear fuel. "They are pushing hard for this reprocessing ability," says Sen. Bob Corker, who was in talks with senior South Korean officials last week. "There is a lot of national pride in this." He notes that while President Park Geun-hye said the country did not wish to develop nuclear weapons, plenty of other South Korean politicians did—and opinion polls show around two-thirds of the public in favor. Proliferation experts warn that granting Seoul permission to create nuclear fuel could spark an arms race across the entire region.

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
kawahchan
Apr 7, 2013 11:33 AM CDT
(R) 2014 & 2016 Gov. RICK PERRY Report: We American Republicans expect South Korean President Park Geun-hye can arrange a schedule to official-visit Iran and discuss the nuclear issue and Produced-in-Iran Uranium with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. South Korea might purchase the NEWEST, MOST ADVANCED FASTER 4th Generation Uranium Centrifuges from Made-in-Iran. Texas A&M University like to have a donation equipment from Iran for our Applied Nuclear Physics lab.
1freeusa
Apr 3, 2013 3:02 PM CDT
with the technology of south korea over north korea, it will be one sided war. still destructive. the nice part about it, if south korea has nukes, then we dont need to be there.......Savings $25,000,000,000.00 per year. American lives saved if war did break out........priceless.
metalkiwis
Apr 3, 2013 11:36 AM CDT
If I were the North, I'd be all for this. Imagine how great a target for a nuclear strike a nuclear energy plant would be.