RUSI NewsbriefVOLUME 33ISSUE 5members only

South Korea’s Nuclear Ambitions: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

As South Korea seeks to renegotiate its longstanding nuclear agreement with the US, the relationship between the two allies is coming under strain

The US-South Korean bilateral nuclear-energy agreement has been a source of constant, if forcibly repressed, tension in the two countries’ very public alliance. The current agreement – signed in 1972 under Section 123 of the 1954 US Atomic Energy Act and revised in 1974 – stipulates that South Korea must import US nuclear material and technology under effective safeguards, and requires prior US consent for reprocessing or enrichment activities related to the agreement. Now

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