Anti-nuclear movement in South Korea
The anti-nuclear movement in South Korea consists of environmental groups, religious groups, unions, co-ops, and professional associations. In December 2011, protesters demonstrated in Seoul and other areas after the government announced it had picked sites for two new nuclear plants.
Among the most active South Korean organizations in the anti-nuclear movement is the Korea's largest environmental NGO, the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM). KFEM leads campaigns for a denuclearization, both in terms of weapons reduction and power generation solutions.
The "East Coast Solidarity for Anti-Nuke Group" was formed in South Korea in January 2012. It was created by the Justice and Peace committees of the four Catholic dioceses of Andong, Busan, Daegu and Wonju. The group is against nuclear power or nuclear weapons and in favour of peace. The group will ask the government to cancel its plans for new nuclear power plants in Samcheok and Yeongdeok. They will also demand the closure of existing nuclear reactors in Wolseong and Gori, and release of information about them.
In January 2012, 22 South Korean women's groups appealed for a nuclear free future, saying they believe nuclear weapons and power reactors "threaten our lives, the lives of our families and all living creatures". The women said they feel an enormous sense of crisis after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011, which demonstrated the destructive power of radiation in the disruption of human lives, environmental pollution, and food contamination.
Choi Yul, president of Korea Green Foundation, has said "The March 11 disaster has proven that nuclear power plants are not safe". Choi said antinuclear sentiment is growing in South Korea amid the Fukushima crisis, and there is a chance to reverse the country's nuclear policy in 2012 because South Korea is facing a presidential election. He added that the anti-nuclear movement needs to spread internationally and Choi and other experts plan to create the Network for Nuclear Free East Asia. The group is scheduled to officially debut on March 11 with 311 members, from Japan, South Korea, China and other economies.
In March 2012, on the first Fukushima nuclear disaster anniversary, South Korean environmental groups held a rally in Seoul to oppose nuclear power. Over 5,000 people attended, and the turnout was one of the largest in recent memory for an anti-nuclear rally. The demonstration demanded that President Lee Myung Bak abandon his policy of promoting nuclear power.
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