South Korea may not oppose release of Fukushima water

REUTERS/Sakura Murakami
The storage tanks for treated water are seen at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan March 1 2021.

SEOUL — South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong has said his country would not necessarily oppose Japan’s decision to release treated radioactive water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into the sea, as long as the procedure meets the standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Chung made the remark in a parliamentary speech on Monday.

South Korea has opposed the offshore release, with President Moon Jae-in instructing officials at a presidential meeting to actively consider filing a case with the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

However, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry, who visited South Korea on Saturday and met with foreign minister Chung, told the press that Tokyo made the decision in a transparent manner.

The South Korean government may be trying to revise its policy in response to the United States taking a negative stance on intervening.