U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton has suggested that referring South Korea to the U.N. Security Council for its past nuclear experiments may be a way to prove that Seoul was not seeking nuclear weapons, the Yonhap news agency reported yesterday (see GSN, Oct. 12).
A U.S. official quoted Bolton as saying, “There can be many ways to deal with South Korea’s nuclear material experiments. If they were just scientific experiments, not part of a nuclear program, one way can be reporting the case to the U.N. Security Council.”
Bolton made his comment last week during a meeting with South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choi Young-jin, the official said.
The International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors is set to meet next month to decide whether to refer South Korea to the Security Council for its nuclear experiments, which involved small amounts of enriched uranium and plutonium.
South Korea has opposed having the Security Council consider its case, as it could imply that Seoul’s past nuclear effort is comparable to the suspected atomic weapons programs of North Korea and Iran, Yonhap reported (Yonhap/BBC Worldwide Monitoring, Oct. 28).