DP to file petition with UNHCR opposing Fukushima water release

South Korea's main opposition Democratic Party (DP) said Wednesday it will file a petition with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) opposing Japan's Fukushima water release plan by the end of this month.

The DP argued Tokyo's plan to dump the treated water from the dysfunctional Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean violates various international agreements, and pressured President Yoon Suk Yeol to express opposition to the plan at the trilateral summit between South Korea, the United States and Japan scheduled next week.

"Through the common sense of the international community and the professional process of an international organization, we will counter acts of polluting the ocean, which not only is the future of the Republic of Korea but the foundation of our life," said Rep. Woo Won-shik, who heads the DP's committee opposing the water release plan, at a signing event attended by the party's leadership.

The UNHCR considers petitions from individuals, organizations or countries regarding incidents of continuous gross violations of human rights.

In the petition, the DP raised concerns about several issues regarding the release plan, including the need for a thorough radiation risk assessment before additional discharges and its doubts on whether the International Atomic Energy Agency properly verified the Advanced Liquid Processing System, used to treat the radioactive water.

The DP plans to gather lobbyists to convey their opposition to the water release plan to the UN human rights watchdog, Woo said.

The petition will be delivered around the end of August, after the party gathers signatures from lawmakers and citizens, he added.

This decision was reached amid "growing public concern" that Yoon could lend his support to Japan's release plan at the upcoming summit, Woo said.

The DP's leader Lee Jae-myung also pressed President Yoon to strongly oppose the planned release in the upcoming summit, criticizing his administration for "entrusting Japan to decide the safety of our government."

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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