Korea became the 26th full member of the Paris-based International Energy Agency, a sister organisation of the OECD, at the end of March.
“We heartily welcome Korea into the IEA,” the agency’s executive director, Robert Priddle, said. “The country’s very robust economy and its key strategic position in East Asia mean that its presence among us will greatly enhance energy security in its region and throughout the world.”
Korea had been considered a “de facto” IEA member since formally applying for accession in April 2001. In order to meet a central requirement of full membership in the IEA, the Seoul government has set aside emergency oil stocks equal to 90 days of oil imports.
The Czech Republic joined the IEA in February 2001. Slovakia and Poland are currently candidates for full membership. The IEA was founded in 1974 in the wake of the first oil shock. It is an independent organisation of oil-consuming nations within the framework of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
©OECD Observer No 231/232, May 2002