| President Park Geun-hye attended a ceremony celebrating the installation ceremony of a home-grown nuclear reactor in Barakah, United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.
The reactor installation marks the first time that a power-generating reactor developed and built with Korean technologies has been put in place overseas. Cho Won-dong, senior presidential secretary of economic affairs, said it is the first international debut of Korean power-generating reactor. The reactor, 14.8 meters high and weighing 533 tons, is designed to withstand a magnitude-7.0 earthquake.
The UAE is the first country to build a nuclear reactor in the Middle East, excluding Iran. Barakah is 270 kilometers west of Abu Dhabi. Korea Electric Corporation will complete construction of the first reactor in May 2017 and plans to complete all four nuclear plants by 2020. The deal is worth approximately 18.6 billion U.S. dollars. After attending the ceremony, President Park had a luncheon meeting with Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and discussed economic cooperation plans between two countries.
Before returning to Korea, President Park visited the Korean military unit of Akh dispatched in UAE and encouraged soldiers there. Akh Unit was sent to the country in January 2011 and supports education and training for UAE special forces. The president told them safety should be priority and asked them to serve with a pride that they represent Korea and its military. It is the first time President Park met troops overseas since her inauguration. Overseas dispatch of armed forces marks its 50th year this year. Korea sent a mobile surgical hospital and Taekwondo instructor team to Vietnam on Sept. 11, 1964 for the first time.