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(LEAD) S. Korea seeks Denmark's cooperation over Japan's Fukushima water release plan

All News 21:50 April 27, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS vice minister's UNESCAP meeting remarks in last 3 paras, photo)

SEOUL, April 27 (Yonhap) -- Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong on Tuesday shared South Korea's concerns about Japan's planned release of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant during telephone talks with his Danish counterpart Jeppe Kofod, the ministry said.

Tokyo approved a plan this month to dump more than 1 million tons of radioactive water from the wrecked nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean, sparking strong criticism from its local fishing industry and neighboring countries, such as South Korea and China.

Chung expressed concerns about the plan and requested Denmark's attention and cooperation, according to the foreign ministry.

In response, Kofod stressed the need for transparency, responsibility and international efforts regarding marine environment issues, the ministry said.

This file photo provided by the foreign ministry on Feb. 12, 2021, shows Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The ministers also vowed to further enhance the two nations' relationship on the basis of their Joint Action Plan for 2021-2024, which calls for bilateral cooperation in politics, economy, science and environment, the ministry said.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

They also pledged to work closely for the upcoming Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals (P4G) summit to be hosted virtually by Seoul from May 30-31. Denmark hosted the inaugural P4G summit in 2018.

Meanwhile, Second Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-moon also raised the issue of Fukushima water at the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) on Tuesday.

At the 77th session held via videoconferencing, Choi stressed Japan needs to present sufficient scientific grounds about the safety of the planned release, have prior consultations with neighboring countries and share information, according to the ministry.

He also called for the participation of experts from countries concerned in a verification process to be led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it added.

This photo provided by the foreign ministry shows Second Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-moon speaking during the 77th session of the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) held via videoconferencing on April 27, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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