Seoul nuke talks to resume

Seoul nuke talks to resume

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Seoul nuke talks to resume

South Korea is willing to cooperate with Turkey on a nuclear plant, says Lee (L). DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Turkey and South Korea will soon resume talks about constructing a nuclear power plant in Turkey. The presidents of the two countries will meet in the upcoming days to settle key differences that caused the parties to halt talks in 2010.

“South Korea is willing to cooperate with Turkey on a nuclear power plant. Relevant ministers will meet as soon as possible in order to overcome these disagreements,” Lee Myung-bak, president of South Korea, said at a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart yesterday.

They held a long discussion on the nuclear issue, Turkish President Abdullah Gül said, adding Turkey wanted to see cooperation on the nuclear energy issue as part of a strategic partnership with South Korea.

The two presidents will continue discussing basic principles, Gül said.

The state power companies of Turkey and South Korea had signed a preliminary deal in March 2010, paving the way for talks aimed at concluding an intergovernmental agreement to build a nuclear power plant at Sinop, on Turkey’s northern Black Sea coast.

Following South Korea and Turkey’s agreement to resume talks on building a $20 billion nuclear power plant, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co., South Korea’s biggest power-equipment maker, climbed to the highest stock price in a year in Seoul trading on expectations of increased overseas orders for nuclear reactors.

Turkey and South Korea had also signed an agreement on strategic partnership and discussed ways to increase trade. As South Korean companies faced problems on insurance security, the two parties agreed to solve the problem by April, the South Korean president said.

The two sides pledged to boost trade “in a more balanced manner,” Gül said, stressing Ankara’s concern about the large trade deficit with South Korea. Annual trade volume between the two countries amounts to about $6 billion, with South Korea’s exports taking up about $5 billion.

Cooperation areas would include the defense sector such as ATAC helicopters, the Turkish president said.

On the sidelines of Lee’s trip to Turkey, South Korean firms also signed a memorandum of understanding with Turkey’s state-run Electricity Generation Co., Inc. (EÜAŞ) on a $2 billion first-phase project to build a coal-fueled power plant in the Afsin-Elbistan region.