Speaking in Seoul Sunday, on the eve of a nuclear security summit, US President Barack Obama said that all highly enriched uranium had been removed from Ukraine, hailing it as an important step toward curbing the threat of nuclear terrorism.

"Just today we saw another important step forward. We learned that Ukraine has completed the removal of highly enriched uranium from its territory," Obama told a news conference in the South Korean capital, The Economic Times reports.

"I believe it is a preview of the kind of progress we are going to see over the next two days in confronting one of the most urgent challenges to global security -- the security of the world's nuclear weapons and preventing nuclear terrorism."

This week's gathering in Seoul is a follow-up to an inaugural summit that Obama hosted in Washington two years ago.

Ukraine pledged at that summit to remove its entire stock of highly enriched uranium, which can be used to make nuclear bombs, and the process of moving it to Russia for secure storage is now complete.

To replace the stock in civilian atomic energy, Ukraine was sent a small amount of low enriched uranium unsuitable for the manufacture of nuclear weapons, according to the government in Kiev.

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