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France joins Korea on atomic energy, navy

The French ambassador has visited the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute ahead of an atomic energy committee meeting between the two countries.

Ambassador Elizabeth Laurin discussed cooperation on atomic energy research with KAERI chairman Jung Youn-ho during the visit on Feb. 21. She also toured the KAERI facilities, including the Korea’s first multi-purpose research reactor, Hanaro.

The 20th France-Korea Atomic energy Committee will meet in Seoul in June to discuss safety measures to defend against accidents such as that which occurred at Japan’s Fukushima reactor. They will jointly develop a safety program, as well as hold seminars on future atomic energy systems and technology cooperation.
French Navy frigate the Vendemiaire (French Embassy)
French Navy frigate the Vendemiaire (French Embassy)

Jung said: “We hope to enhance safety of atomic energy through consistent and close cooperation with France, which already has developed nuclear technology.”

France will also participate in next month’s Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul.

The European nation is also sending a ship to South Korea to bolster cooperation between the two countries’ armed forces.

French Navy frigate the Vendemiaire will make a port call to Incheon from Feb. 29 to March 4.

During its stay, crew members will perform joint activities with the South Korean Navy and visit the DMZ.

It will be the first visit of a French Navy vessel to South Korea in two years.

“It will be an opportunity to re-affirm the friendship between France and Korea and the cooperation between the armed forces and the navies of our two countries,” a French Embassy spokesperson said.

The vessel left her home port of Nouma, in French New Caledonia on Jan. 23 for the 115-day Asia mission.

The 93.5 meter-long frigate will reach South Korea following stops in Salomon islands, Palau, The Philippines and Japan, before going on to China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand. She will then stop in East Timor and Papua-New Guinea on her way back to Noumea.

The French Navy has 6 over seas frigates designed to carry out surveillance and humanitarian missions far from mainland. They are also used for peacetime surveillance of overseas areas under French sovereignty ― to protect fisheries and prevent smuggling.