Reports: South Korea, UAE sign $25 billion in energy deals

South Korean President Moon Jae-in meets with the United Arab Emirates’ Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the ruler’s palace on Tuesday. Photo by Yonhap

March 27 (UPI) — South Korea and the United Arab Emirates signed $25 billion worth of energy deals as the two countries marked the completion of the Barakah nuclear reactor, the first of its kind in the Middle East, according to reports.

The deals were signed as South Korean President Moon Jae-in visited the UAE for the first time since assuming office, Arab News reported Tuesday.

The South Korean leader also called for further “future-oriented” cooperation in the fields of semiconductors, telecommunications and space development, after meeting with UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, according to South Korean newspaper Herald Business.

“We shared our vision, to open the next 100 years, with economic cooperation as our foundation,” Moon said. “We hope you make South Korea a travel companion for the long journey ahead.”

The Barakah nuclear reactor is one of four plants being built with assistance from a Korea Electric Power Corp. consortium.

The South Korean group won the contract in 2009, at a time when the administration of former President Lee Myung-bak may have pledged to provide military aid to the UAE, in exchange for the operation of a nuclear plant in the country.

The deal may have been reached through non-disclosed agreements signed at the time, and revelations regarding the deal recently stirred controversy in Seoul.

In his speech at the Korea-UAE Business Forum on Tuesday, Moon said the nuclear reactor is the first power plant South Korea has “exported” to the Gulf state.

It is a strategic move for a country that is “preparing for the post-oil era,” the South Korean president said.

Earlier on Tuesday the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. signed two contracts, worth $3.5 billion, with South Korea’s Samsung Engineering, according to Arab News.

The plant is located about three hours outside Abu Dhabi, the capital.


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