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Friday, October 13, 2006

South Korean Man Arrested for Exporting Uranium Enrichment Chemicals to Middle East

South Korean authorities arrested a businessman today for illegally selling chemicals that could be used to enrich uranium, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, Oct. 2).

The 45-year-old man, identified only as Lee, has been charged with exporting 15 tons of potassium bifluoride to an unspecified Middle Eastern nation. The chemicals could be used as part of a uranium enrichment program, according to AFP.

“The material was imported by a company in the Middle East,” said prosecutor Lee Hun-sang. “This company is suspected of involvement in a nuclear program.”

The suspect Lee was originally detained last December when he was about to export 25 tons of the chemical, but he avoided prosecution by claiming that he did not know that sales of the material were restricted, AFP reported (Agence France-Presse/Khaleej Times, Oct. 12).
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