(LEAD) DP leader denounces Fukushima water release as act of terror

The leader of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) on Wednesday denounced Japan's impending release of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant as an act of terror that will go down in history as another Pacific War hurting neighboring nations.

Rep. Lee Jae-myung made the remarks as Tokyo is set to start discharging the water Thursday, accusing Japan of trying to bring an irrevocable catastrophe to South Korea and Pacific nations after threatening neighboring nations with an imperialist war in the past.

"We strongly condemn Japan's contaminated water terror," Lee said during a party meeting. "Japan's release of nuclear contaminated water will be recorded as the Second Pacific War."

He also criticized the government for saying it sees no problems with the release plan.

"If there is even the slightest speck of concern for the people, they should confidently express their opposition," Lee said.

The DP has strongly opposed the Fukushima release plan, arguing that it would pose great health risks to people in South Korea. But the government says the release would pose no health hazards as long as it is done in a scientifically safe manner.

Defying heavy rain, nearly a thousand DP lawmakers, party officials and rank-and-file members gathered for a candlelight rally at the National Assembly later in the day.

"The East Sea is turning into the Sea of Japan. I am worried that someday the national anthem would begin with 'the Sea of Japan and Mt. Paektu,' not 'the East Sea's waters and Mt. Paektu,'" Lee said, accusing the Yoon government of giving in to demands by Japan.

The DP plans to hold an emergency plenary meeting to discuss response measures Thursday and a street rally, including a march toward the presidential office, on Friday. More protests are scheduled for over the weekend.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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