Office of the President “Japan’s polluted water, if IAEA safety cannot be guaranteed, we cannot yield”

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Presidential Chief of Staff Kim Dae-ki (right) and National Security Office chief Cho Tae-yong receive questions from lawmakers at a plenary meeting of the Steering Committee held at the National Assembly in Yeouido, Seoul on the afternoon of the 24th. 2023.5.24/News1 ⓒ News1

Regarding the verification of contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan on the 24th, the Office of the President said, “Contaminated water that has not been scientifically verified for safety must never come out.”

Presidential Chief of Staff Kim Dae-gi made this remark at a plenary meeting of the Steering Committee of the National Assembly on the afternoon of the same day, during an inquiry into the Presidential Office, the Office of National Security, and the Presidential Security Service, regarding the contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, saying, “People’s health cannot be exchanged for anything else in state affairs.”

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Director Kim said, “The samples were not collected, but IAEA has already received and analyzed samples three times.” At the end of June, when asked by Rep. Beom-soo Seo about what would happen if the IAEA could not guarantee the safety of contaminated water, he said, “If we can’t guarantee it, we can’t make concessions either.”

The president’s office also expressed concerns about the spread of fake news related to Fukushima’s contaminated water.

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Citing rumors that tritium is more than twice as dangerous as cesium, Lee Kwan-seop, chief of state affairs planning, said, “The expression that cesium is more than twice as dangerous as tritium is fake news that does not match scientific facts. Spreading fake news can cause people to worry too much about their health and throw society into chaos.”

Regarding the allegations of wiretapping and wiretapping by the US that arose last April, Director of the National Security Office Cho Tae-yong replied, “As we figured out the facts, some parts that were not true were revealed, so we need to find out whether it was wiretapping or not.”

Regarding the National Security Office’s position that many of the allegations were fabricated at the time, Chief Cho said, “The United States also said that there are many things that are not true, and our internal first fact finding coincided with that point, so the Security Office said that there were many things that were not true. He said, “I haven’t come to a conclusion yet, but I will listen to the US side and make a decision.”

When asked by Rep. Kim Byeong-ju of the Democratic Party of Korea whether 500,000 rounds of shells were indirectly provided to Ukraine through Poland, Cho replied, “There is no detour support. The facts are wrong.”

Director Cho said, “As President Yoon said, we are currently providing humanitarian and financial aid to Ukraine,” but regarding the possibility of ammunition support, he said, “It is something to be reviewed later after seeing the war situation.”

Criticism was also raised about the Democratic Party’s official proposal for a “one-point” constitutional amendment that included the spirit of May 18 in the preamble of the Constitution, which the President’s Office used as a “trick” to criticize.

Director Kim said, “I have said many times the sincerity that the spirit of May 18 must be incorporated into the constitution,” but “the constitutional amendment must be done for the sake of the nation. The moment a one-point constitutional amendment is made, it becomes a black hole in state affairs, and all issues fall into it. People’s livelihood is important,” he said.

Ocean discharge of Fukushima contaminated water

Source: Donga

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