A U.S. Senate committee has approved a bill to extend the current U.S.-Korea civilian nuclear accord for another two years.
The current agreement bans Korea from enriching uranium and reprocessing spent nuclear fuel amid concerns about proliferation on the peninsula.
Seoul is seeking to revise the agreement to allow it to do both, in order to reduce nuclear waste and meet an increasing demand for energy, but Washington has been reluctant and the two countries have thus far been unable to find common ground.
The two-year extension would give the two sides more time to seek resolution on the matter.
The current agreement is scheduled to expire in March, but if the bill is approved by the full Senate and the House, it would give President Barack Obama a green light to extend the end date to March 2016.