(SEOUL, South Korea) – U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall and Republic of Korea (ROK) Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-Yul co-chaired the first meeting of the U.S.-ROK High Level Bilateral Commission (HLBC) in Seoul, South Korea, this week.  The HLBC is an essential element of the successor U.S.-ROK “Agreement for Cooperation Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy,” commonly referred to as the U.S.-ROK 123 Agreement.  As described in the U.S.-ROK 123 Agreement, the HLBC will serve as a senior level forum to facilitate peaceful nuclear cooperation in areas of mutual interest related to civil nuclear energy.

During the HLBC meeting, Deputy Secretary Sherwood-Randall and Vice Minister Cho formally established four working groups through which U.S. and ROK experts will collaborate on spent fuel management, the promotion of nuclear exports and export control cooperation, assured fuel supply, and nuclear security. 

“I travelled to Korea to co-chair this first full meeting of the High Level Bilateral Commission,” said Deputy Secretary Sherwood-Randall. “The HLBC reflects the enduring cooperation between the United States and our close ally, the Republic of Korea, since the entry into force of the new 123 Agreement.  The working groups we established will be a venue for our governments to broaden and deepen long-standing cooperation in civil nuclear energy and nonproliferation."

The meeting included representatives from a wide range of U.S. and ROK government agencies.  In addition, ROK experts attended from the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Korea Nuclear International Cooperation Fund, Korea Radioactive Waste Agency, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power, Korea Institute of Nuclear Nonproliferation and Control, Korea Nuclear Association, and Korea Electric Power Corporation.