A U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday passed a bill approving a two-year extension of a civilian nuclear cooperation accord with South Korea.
The bill is designed to give the two sides more time to negotiate a new agreement on their partnership on peaceful nuclear energy use.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved it by voice vote.
Signed in 1974, the current version of the allies' nuclear energy partnership agreement is slated to expire in March. The two sides have struggled to update the so-called 123 agreement amid Seoul's push to enrich uranium and reprocess spent fuel with Washington's consent.
Last year, the two sides agreed to extend the pact by two years in a bid to buy time.
In September, the House passed a bill approving the two-year extension.
The senators have made a slight amendment to the House version, requiring the House to vote again. (Yonhap News)