South Korea and US show differences over Japanese government plans on Fukushima, World News
South Korea has raised concerns over Japan’s decision to dump contaminated water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea with US climate envoy John Kerry, his business ministry said. foreigners, but Kerry reaffirmed Washington’s confidence in the transparency of the plan.
Kerry arrived in Seoul on Saturday to discuss international efforts to tackle global warming on a trip that included a stop in China ahead of President Joe Biden’s virtual summit with world leaders on climate change on April 22-23.
South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong sought to rally support for the country’s protest against the Fukushima plan during a dinner meeting with Kerry, the ministry said. As part of the plan, more than a million tonnes of water will be dumped from the power plant destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011 into the nearby sea off the east coast of Japan.
Seoul strongly reprimanded the decision, with the Foreign Ministry summoning the Japanese ambassador and President Moon Jae, ordering officials to consider the possibility of bringing an international court case.
“Minister Chung expressed the serious concerns of our government and the people about Japan’s decision, and called on the American side to take an interest and cooperate in order for Japan to provide information in a more transparent and timely manner. “the ministry said in a statement.
But Kerry, in a media roundtable on Sunday, said Tokyo made the decision transparently and would continue to follow due process.
“The United States is convinced that the government of Japan is in full consultation with the IAEA,” he said, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“The IAEA has a very rigorous process in place and I know Japan has weighed all the options and effects and they have been very transparent about the decision and the process.”
The former US secretary of state added that Washington would closely monitor the implementation by Japan “like all countries, to ensure that there is no threat to public health.”
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said Chung and Kerry also agreed to work together to strengthen international cooperation to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, a goal pledged by South Korea, Europe and others.
Kerry told the roundtable that Biden aims to urge countries to commit to more ambitious greenhouse gas emissions targets, including China, for example by revamping their energy initiatives or speeding up transitions. towards renewable energies.
The United States is expected to announce its own new emissions target for 2030 this week.
âI think Korea has set itself an ambitious target and Korea is trying to do a lot, it’s not easy for any country,â Kerry said. “We need to be smarter, so do I think any extra steps are possible? I think there are things that could happen.”
(With contributions from agencies)