JANUARY 31, 2023

Jai Cho - South Korea

Transcript (download)

Hello, Belgium! Hello, everyone!

I’m Jai, president of Green Nuclear Energy Student Alliance, representing South Korea today.

Have you heard of the Korean War? 1950, the North Koreans invaded the south. We were almost defeated, but when we called for help, all our friends, soldiers from all around the world came to save our country, to fight for the democracy and liberty of South Koreans. Now, I live in a free and prosperous country.

There is a small Korean War memorial in Brussels too, and I went there yesterday to pay respect.

We had nothing left in Korea after the war. We were literally the poorest country in the world. Yet, we aggressively invested in nuclear. We had a supportive government for a long time, and we build many plants. And with this stable, reliable and economical energy, we were able to build a strong and prosperous manufacturing industry.

We make semi-conductors for Samsung phone. We make steel, cars, ships, batteries, petroleum products—all these energy-intense products—all because we have good, clean energy from nuclear.

Everyone here understands that we need nuclear for a carbon-neutral society. And Korea built one of the safest and affordable plants in the world. How? We build the same models over and over again, so workers are now experts. Building is fast! Regulators don’t have to start all over again, so licensing is fast.

We’ve been doing this for decades and now nuclear is the most economical energy in South Korea. Half the price of gas, one-third the price of renewables.

We made it possible not because we are special. Our mothers and fathers were determined to build a strong and wealthy nation for their sons and daughters. Now it is my turn—it is our turn— to build a clean and prosperous world for our sons and daughters.