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Seoul considers appeal against WTO ruling on Fukushima seafood ban

All Headlines 16:37 October 18, 2017

By Kim Eun-jung

SEOUL, Oct. 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is considering appealing the World Trade Organization (WTO) panel findings that its import restrictions on Japanese seafood after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster were unfair, the country's trade ministry said Wednesday.

Japan lodged a complaint at the WTO in 2015 to challenge South Korea's import bans and additional testing requirements on fish caught from eight prefectures near Fukushima since 2013.

On Tuesday, WTO's dispute settlement panel in Geneva ruled in favor of Japan and notified the two sides of the result.

"We will appeal in accordance with the WTO procedures if (its decision) is considered unfair and affects the government's ability to safeguard the health of our people," the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a release. "Public health concerns are our top priority."

Under WTO rules, South Korea has 60 days to appeal to an appellate body, which could delay imports of Fukushima-related seafood for another two years during the deliberation period.

Details of the final result will be available to WTO member nations in January and will be open to the public afterwards, the ministry said.

ejkim@yna.co.kr
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