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The New Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Agreement Between South Korea and the United States: From Dependence to Parity
Published August 31, 2015

KEI is proud to release the latest volume in its Special Studies Series, The New Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Agreement Between South Korea and the United States: From Dependence to Parity by Dr. Fred McGoldrick, an analysis of the new U.S.-Korea 123 nuclear cooperation agreement.

Replacing the existing 1974 U.S.-Korean bilateral agreement on nuclear cooperation, the new agreement took years of negotiation to balance the interests and requirements of the two countries in promoting the development of nuclear energy.

The U.S. and Korean negotiators' success was largely due to the mutual trust and respect that has developed between the United States and the Republic of Korea over the years. As Dr. McGoldrick points out in his analysis of the agreement, the new agreement establishes an unprecedented level of cooperation between two governments in the field of civil nuclear energy and achieves the following goals:

  • The new agreement replaces a one-sided and outmoded pact with one that reflects the mature and advanced nuclear status and capabilities of South Korea as a nuclear power.
  • The agreement contains a range of reciprocal nonproliferation obligations for both parties that reflect the modern international nuclear export control regime.
  • The agreement sets a pathway for possible U.S. long-term consent for the South Koreans conducting pyroprocessing or enrichment of nuclear material subject to the agreement.

To view the full report, click here

About the Author:

Dr. Fred McGoldrick held senior positions in the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of State, where he negotiated U.S. peaceful nuclear cooperation agreements and helped shape U.S. policy to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. He also served in the U.S. Mission to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. Since his retirement from the State Department in 1998, he has consulted on issues of nonproliferation and nuclear export controls and published numerous articles and monographs on these subjects. He was the recipient of numerous Senior Executive Service Performance awards, two Superior Honor awards, a Meritorious Honor award and the Presidential Meritorious Executive Award. He holds a BA degree magna cum laude from Boston College (1964), a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University (1966) and Ph.D. in international service from The American University (1973).