“The Yoon Seok-yeol government has never objected to the release of contaminated water in Fukushima”

The Korean government has never expressed its opposition to Japan’s plan to discharge contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean. Although they checked the risk of discharge on their own, such as sending an inspection team to Japan, they were consistent in their position that there was no problem scientifically. It is evaluated that they have virtually agreed to the Japanese government’s release plan while ignoring the opposition of the majority of the public.

Regarding the Japanese government’s decision to start the discharge of contaminated water on the 24th, the government said on the 22nd, “We determined that there were no scientific or technical problems in the plan for the discharge of polluted water.” I tell you,” he said.

However, the government has always shown a move in favor of the release. The decision to dispose of water at sea is a matter of Japan’s sovereignty, and it has maintained a position to respect the verification result of the International Atomic Energy Agency ( IAEA ) , an authoritative international organization, that there is no problem with safety.

In this situation, criticism has been raised that the government’s self-verification movement will be used as a sidekick to justify Japan’s decision to release it. The Korea-Japan summit on May 7th between President Yoon Seok-yeol and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida marked the beginning of the summit. At the time, President Yoon said, “We agreed to dispatch a field inspection team of Korean experts related to Fukushima’s contaminated water.”

Accordingly, a government inspection team led by Yu Kook-hee, chairman of the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission, visited Japan from May 21 to 26 and toured the site, including the discharge facilities of the nuclear power plant. Controversy over the transparency of the inspections arose as the claim that private experts should be included in the inspection team for objective verification was raised, but the government’s passive attitude and the Japanese government’s opposition failed.

On the 4th of last month, the IAEA delivered a final report to the Japanese government that the plan to discharge contaminated water was safe, and observations were made that the discharge was imminent. At the time, the government reiterated its position that “ the IAEA respects (the conclusion) because it is an internationally agreed and authoritative body.” On the 7th of last month, three days after the release of the IAEA

final report, the government announced its own scientific and technological verification results, giving strength to the Japanese government’s plan to discharge contaminated water. The government said that Japan’s release plan ” confirmed that it meets international standards such as the IAEA .” It was interpreted to the effect of actually agreeing to the discharge. As concerns over the discharge of contaminated water, which had entered a countdown, President Yoon asked Prime Minister Kishida at a Korea-Japan summit held on the occasion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit on the 12th of last month to monitor the entire discharge process and share real-time monitoring information. requested action. Prime Minister Kishida did not respond to President Yoon’s request on the spot. Afterwards, the two governments held working-level consultations to discuss President Yoon’s request.

At the Korea-US-Japan summit held at Camp David in the United 스포츠토토States on the 18th (local time), President Yoon said, “I have confidence in the internationally credible IAEA inspection results,” and said that it was necessary to check whether the discharge was handled as planned. In Japan, it was evaluated that President Yoon gave strength to the discharge of contaminated water.

It seems to have nothing to do with the situation in which South Korea prioritizes rapidly strengthening military cooperation with the US and Japan with security logics such as confronting the advanced North Korean nuclear threat. This is the background to the evaluation that it made concessions on the issue of compensation for victims of forced labor and discharge of contaminated water in exchange for promoting a drastic improvement in relations with Japan.

The government held daily discharge-related briefings from June 15, right after the commissioning of the contaminated water discharge facility, to address public concerns. In a situation where the Korean government is unable to make a proactive decision regarding release, the structural limitations of only delivering the Japanese government’s release plan were revealed. In June, when the controversy over the ocean discharge method arose, criticism was raised that it was defending the Japanese government, saying, “The current method is the most realistic alternative.”

The government, which has not voiced opposition to Japan’s plan to discharge contaminated water, has rather strongly responded to public concerns and objections by calling them “ghost stories.” The government insisted, “We have never dismissed the people’s concerns and anxieties as a ghost story.” However, it is pointed out that there was a limit to appease public anxiety just by setting the standard of IAEA verification and science.

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