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South Korea Joins PSI

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On May 26th, South Korea joined 94 other nations in endorsing the Proliferation Security Initiative. Established in 2003, the Proliferation Security Initiative, or PSI, is a global cooperative effort that aims to stop trafficking of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, and related materials to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern. Its participants use existing national authorities, international law and frameworks to support the world community's goals of halting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems and related materials.

In an April 5th speech in Prague, President Barack Obama proposed strengthening and expanding the initiative in order to build on our efforts to "break up black markets, detect and intercept materials in transit, and use financial tools to disrupt this dangerous trade."

Participants in the Proliferation Security Initiative have endorsed the PSI Statement of Interdiction Principles that identifies specific steps participants can take to effectively interdict Weapons of Mass Destruction-related shipments and prevent proliferation. The PSI principles recognize the value of cooperative action and encourage participating countries to work together to apply diplomatic, intelligence, law enforcement, military and other capabilities to prevent Weapons of Mass Destruction-related transfers to states and non-state actors of proliferation concern.

Participants also are encouraged to strengthen their relevant national laws as well as relevant international laws and frameworks to support these commitments.

The Proliferation Security Initiative is part of President Obama's global plan to shrink nuclear arsenals, block nuclear testing, stop manufacture of fissile materials for weapons, and secure existing nuclear material. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the United States looks "forward to working with the South Korean government to stop the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction-related materials worldwide and to strengthening the initiative for the future."