The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Republic of Korea today announced that the Republic of Korea renewed its partnership to combat nuclear smuggling with a $300,000 contribution to support NNSA’s ongoing nonproliferation work in Azerbaijan. The funding, provided by the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and facilitated by the U.S. Department of State’s Nuclear Smuggling Outreach Initiative (NSOI), will be used for the installation of radiation detection equipment at the Baku Airport.
“The Republic of Korea’s continued and generous support of NNSA’s work to strengthen nuclear security worldwide shows the strength of our relationship and the global commitment to nuclear security,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. “Partnerships like this allow NNSA to make even more progress in the global effort to secure vulnerable nuclear material and impede the efforts of terrorists and proliferators to acquire dangerous radioactive materials.”
The radiation detection equipment will provide Azerbaijan with additional tools to detect, deter and interdict illicit trafficking in special nuclear and radioactive materials that could be used to construct an improvised nuclear device or a radiological dispersal device.
This is the Republic of Korea’s fifth contribution to NNSA under the G8 Global Partnership – an agreement facilitating cooperation between 25 countries, including Korea and the U.S., to address nonproliferation, disarmament, counterterrorism and nuclear safety issues through cooperative projects. In 2008 and 2010, the Republic of Korea made two contributions of $300,000 to support NNSA’s work in Ukraine. In 2011, the Republic of Korea contributed a total of $600,000 to support NNSA’s work in Kazakhstan and Ukraine. These contributions showcase the strong partnership between the U.S. and Korea, which hosted the Nuclear Security Summit in 2010 and 2012, respectively.
NNSA’s Second Line of Defense (SLD) program works with foreign governments at border crossings, airports and seaports to install specialized radiation detection equipment and to train officials to detect smuggled nuclear and other radioactive materials. NNSA has installed radiation detection equipment at more than 450 sites and 44 megaports around the world.