The New U.S.-ROK 123 Agreement
April 22, 2015
- The new U.S.-ROK 123 agreement, announced on April 22, is a unique and mutually beneficial deal that speaks to the decades-long civil nuclear relationship between the two allies and it will allow ongoing positive cooperation in nuclear energy in the future.
- It commits the two countries to help ensure a supply of enriched fuel to South Korea for nuclear power reactors.
- It provides the option to Korea for removal of spent nuclear fuel to third countries.
- The agreement deals with the thorny issue of advanced consent for reprocessing or enrichment, not by granting these activities, but by subjecting all future discussions/requests to a high-level bilateral management mechanism set up by the agreement.
- Thus, the agreement deals with non-proliferation risks without expressly requiring the ROK to renounce forever a "sovereign" right to certain technical capabilities.
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