U.S. and South Korea Join Forces to Strengthen Strategic Trade Controls of WMD-Related Materials and Technology

Press Release
Sep 30, 2008

VIENNA, AUSTRIA – The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Republic of Korea's Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) today signed an arrangement for cooperation on the implementation of strategic trade controls.  The arrangement advances bilateral cooperation to prevent the illicit transfer of nuclear-related materials, equipment, technology, and information to countries or terrorist organizations seeking to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

"The signing of this arrangement for cooperation reinforces the U.S.-South Korean partnership to prevent nuclear proliferation," said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation William Tobey.  "International collaboration plays a critical role in the global fight against illicit trafficking and proliferation, and the United States through the NNSA will continue to build and expand partnerships to reduce the risk of smuggling dangerous nuclear and radiological material and related equipment."

The arrangement allows NNSA and MEST to share best practices, collaborate on training customs and other officials to identify sensitive commodities, and exchange scientific and technical information.  The arrangement strengthens bilateral cooperation by creating a framework for joint activities to improve export control licensing and promote outreach to industry.

Today's agreement builds on the successful partnership between NNSA's International Nonproliferation Export Control Program  and MEST that dates back to 2004.  The two agencies have worked together to hold export control technical exchanges in the United States, the Republic of Korea and throughout Asia.  The program's mission is to strengthen global and national efforts to prevent the proliferation of WMD-related materials, equipment, and technology by promoting proliferation and export control awareness and creating a cadre of experts who serve as a force multiplier in this global effort.

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science.  NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371