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Seoul Recognizes 50 years of IAEA – ROK Cooperation

IAEA Director General Dr. ElBaradei meets with Dr. Woo Sik Kim, Korean Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Science and Technology. (Photo: KONICOF)

A conference hosted by the Korean Government in Seoul today brought together over 300 nuclear officials and diplomats from Korea and abroad to commemorate the 50thanniversary of the IAEA and look at the future for nuclear technologies.

In his opening address, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Science and Technology, Kim Woo-Sik said the IAEA has “greatly contributed to promoting the safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.” He added: “Now as an alternative to fossil fuels, nuclear energy is back in the spotlight to fight surging oil prices and global warming.”

In his keynote address, Dr. ElBaradei described the IAEA's dual role as “a guardian for nuclear security and a vehicle for development.” He noted that “the increasing demand for environmentally friendly nuclear energy is driving a renewed interest in nuclear power” but that there is also an “increasing concern about the proliferation potential associated with the spread of nuclear technology.”

He proposed four ways in which the non-proliferation regime must be strengthened:

  • ensure more effective controls over nuclear material;
  • strengthen the verification authority and capability of the IAEA;
  • develop a more effective approach for dealing with proliferation threats; and
  • urgently revive disarmament efforts.

During his trip to Seoul, Dr. ElBaradei also held meetings with President Roh Moo-Hyun and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Min-Soon Song. The talks focused on the DPRK and the resumption of the IAEA's verification role. He also received an honorary doctorate in Political Science from Konkuk University in Seoul.


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