A criminal investigation for corruption brought against the former President Lee Myung-bak (see photo), charged with corruption, has brought to light the existence of a secret military pact between South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

Under this pact, concluded in the period 2009 – 2011 (which was during the presidential mandate (2008 to 2013) of Lee Myung Bak) South Korea undertook to defend the United Arab Emirates if a war broke out; an undertaking which it has only, to date, agreed to, with the United States.

This treaty forms part of a sales agreement for a nuclear centre to the Emirates. In December 2009, the South Korean company, Electric Power Corporation was victorious in its tender offer, prevailing over Areva (a French company), General Electric (a US company) and Hitachi (a Japanese company) to build a nuclear complex worth 40 billion dollars. Two of the four 1 400 megawatts reactors, provided for in the agreement, are almost complete. Indeed, the whole complex should be delivered before the end of 2018.

South Korea has deployed peace troops in the following countries:
 in South Sudan (the Hanbit unit);
 in Lebanon (the Dongmyung unit);
 in Oman (the Cheonghae naval unit); and
 in the United Arab Emirates (the Akhl (which means “brother” in Arabic) unit. Only 1600 of these men are authorized to fight.

The former President Lee Myung-bak has refused to comment on the revelations about the secret military pact with the United Arab Emirates.

South Korea is in the process of negotiating the construction of other nuclear centres in the region, specifically in Saudi Arabia.

The Emirates is militarily engaged on Saudi Arabia’s side in Yemen. The Saudi King is the leader of the Arab Coalition involved in the war against Yemen and the Emirates is a member of this coalition.

Anoosha Boralessa