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US lawmaker opposes advanced nuke tech for SKorea

January 15, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has endorsed a two-year extension of a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement with South Korea, but a key lawmaker is opposing a Korean proposal to allow reprocessing of spent fuel.

The committee’s top-ranking Republican, Sen. Bob Corker, said Wednesday he couldn’t support Seoul’s request for advanced technologies because they can be used to produce material for a nuclear weapon.

Corker said despite Seoul’s peaceful intentions, the spread of those technologies could destabilize the Korean Peninsula and undermine any slim hope of getting North Korea to denuclearize.

South Korea says it needs the advanced technologies to expand its nuclear energy industry.

Last April, Washington and Seoul postponed a decision on that.

Instead, they are extending the current pact that expires in March. It faces further legislative steps.

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