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S. Korean diplomats in Pacific countries discuss Japan's Fukushima water release plan in video talks

All News 11:06 April 28, 2021

SEOUL, April 28 (Yonhap) -- The foreign ministry has held a virtual meeting of the chiefs of its diplomatic missions in Pacific countries to discuss responses to Japan's planned release of radioactive water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, officials said Wednesday.

The meeting on Tuesday came as Seoul has been stepping up diplomacy to ensure safety in Tokyo's envisioned discharge of the wastewater into the ocean amid concerns over its impact on people's health, the marine environment and the fishery industry

Second Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-moon led the session involving the chiefs of the missions in Pacific countries, as well as those tasked with multilateral diplomacy, to discuss the strengthening of international cooperation on the issue, the ministry said.

This file photo, provided on Feb. 25, 2021, by the foreign ministry, shows Second Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-moon speaking during a virtual international forum on multilateralism at the ministry in Seoul. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Earlier, Choi stressed during a video-linked session of the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific that Japan's decision to dispose of the contaminated water could cause significant damage to the environment.

Japan finalized the decision earlier this month to start discharging the treated water in 2023 despite opposition from South Korea and other neighbors. All storage tanks at the Fukushima plant are expected to be full as early as the fall of 2022.

Seoul has sought Washington's cooperation in addressing public safety concerns. But U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry has said it is inappropriate for Washington to "jump into" the issue.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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