Kingdom makes significant progress in nuclear reactors: Envoy

South Korean Ambassador Kwon Pyung-oh
Updated 16 March 2017
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Kingdom makes significant progress in nuclear reactors: Envoy

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has made significant progress in terms of acquiring technology to build nuclear reactors, and is working closely with South Korea on nuclear safety and security, South Korean Ambassador Kwon Pyung-oh said Wednesday.
The Kingdom has sent 41 nuclear experts to South Korea for training and learning to design, construct and develop nuclear plants based on System-integrated Modular Advanced Reactor (SMART) technology, he added.
“The basis of nuclear cooperation between our two countries is an MoU (memorandum of understanding) that was signed in March 2015 on the occasion of an official visit by Korea’s president to Saudi Arabia,” Pyung-oh said.
“The MoU seeks to strengthen partnership in SMART reactor technology and human capacity-building in the nuclear sector between Korea and Saudi Arabia.”
As a follow-up measure, the Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute and King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy signed a SMART pre-project engineering agreement in September 2015 that will remain in effect until November 2018, he said.
South Korea is widely recognized as a leader in designing and building SMART reactors. “I expect nuclear cooperation between Korea and Saudi Arabia to deepen further by building on recent developments,” said the diplomat.
The two countries signed another MoU to strengthen cooperation on nuclear safety, security and regulations, exchanging information, technical cooperation, education and training last November, he added.
“I am confident that such efforts will lead to the successful construction and launch of SMART nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia,” Kwon said, adding that SMART is a small-scale nuclear power plant equivalent to approximately a 10th of a full-scale commercial atomic power station.
It is able to supply heat for seawater desalination, district heating and industrial purposes, and can be built at a low cost and within a short period of time.


Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

Updated 20 June 2018
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Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

  • The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.
  • Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels.

JEDDAH: Saudi-led coalition officials on Tuesday displayed weapons and explosives supplied by Iran to Houthi militias in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. 

The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.

Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels. The weapons were captured on the battlefield in Hodeidah and displayed at a military base in the UAE. 

“Unsurprisingly, there are advanced military components in the Houthi militias’ hands,” said Talal Al-Teneiji, an official at the UAE Foreign Ministry.

“We took time to inspect and disassemble these to figure out the source ... and we can say that these elements are military-grade materials imported from Iran to the Houthi militias.”

As the week-long offensive in Hodeidah intensified on Tuesday, coalition forces consolidated their grip on the city’s airport and there was new fighting on the main coast road leading to the city center, with Apache helicopters providing air support to the coalition. 

“We can hear the sounds of artillery, mortars and sporadic machinegun fire. The Houthis have been using tanks,” one civilian on the coastal strip said. 

“Water has been cut off to many of the areas near the corniche area because the Houthis have dug trenches and closed water pipes.”

At the airport, which the coalition has controlled since Saturday, their forces stormed the main compound and took full command.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said: “We are waiting for the Houthis to realize the sort of military and psychological blow that they got with the airport ... we are giving them time to decide if they want to save the city ... and pull out.”

Oubai Shahbandar, a strategic communications adviser, told Arab News that “without the sea and airport of Hodeidah, the Houthi militia has effectively lost the war.”

They should agree to UN-hosted peace talks and not prolong the fighting. “The tide in this conflict has clearly turned in favor of the Arab coalition and the welfare of the Yemeni people ought to be paramount,” he said.