South Korea, UAE agree to boost investment, urge North Korea to abandon nuclear arms

MOSCOW, May 30 (Bernama-Sputnik) — South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Thursday agreed to expand mutual investment under the newly signed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and called on North Korea to resume dialogue to abandon its nuclear weapons.

“Recognising the mutual benefits and the significant growth opportunities that the CEPA brings to the UAE and the Republic of Korea, the two leaders underlined their commitment to expanding mutual investments in their countries’ economies and in other regions of importance,” the leaders said in a joint statement released by the South Korean presidential office.

The two leaders also assessed several investment initiatives, including the UAE’s commitment in January 2023 to invest US$30 billion in strategic sectors in South Korea, the statement added.

Following the successful operation of four units at the Barakah nuclear power plant in the UAE, designed and built by the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), the countries also agreed to seek ways to facilitate potential cooperation in follow-up unit projects, joint entry into third countries, nuclear fuel supply chain, and Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).

In addition, the two countries urged North Korea to abandon its nuclear arms.

“Both the UAE and the Republic of Korea … called on the DPRK to respect and abide by international law, and return to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The leaders also emphasised the importance of denuclearising the Korean Peninsula through peaceful dialogue. In this vein, they urged DPRK to resume dialogue with relevant parties to prioritise diplomatic solutions, and to abandon its nuclear weapons,” the statement read.

On Wednesday, the two countries inked the CEPA that facilitates trade between them, as well as a memorandum of intent under which South Korea intends to build at least six liquefied natural gas carriers worth about US$1.5 billion.