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Thursday, September 02, 2004

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | S Korea in 'rogue' nuclear trials

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | S Korea in 'rogue' nuclear trials: "S Korea in 'rogue' nuclear trials
By Charles Scanlon
BBC correspondent in Seoul

The South Korean Government has admitted its scientists experimented secretly with nuclear fuel enrichment.
Experts say the technique used could have military implications, but a government official denied any intention to build a weapons programme.
A European based diplomat said the work was a violation of South Korea's international nuclear commitments.
The discovery could lead to calls for South Korea to be referred to the UN Security Council, like North Korea.
It is also likely to cause severe embarrassment to Seoul, and its key ally the US.
A team from the IAEA secretly rushed to South Korea last week, after the government revealed that the country had broken its commitments on nuclear proliferation.
Seoul made the admission under the terms of a tougher inspection regime that is just coming into effect.
A South Korean government official told the BBC that the research, which involved the use of lasers to enrich nuclear fuel, was not authorised by the government.
The official said it was a 'rogue' operation which ended four years ago, and concerned the production of highly enriched uranium, which could be used for an atomic bomb. "

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