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‘Gov’t will resume construction but stop building new reactors,’ says Moon

‘Gov’t will resume construction but stop building new reactors,’ says Moon

Posted October. 23, 2017 07:47,   

Updated October. 23, 2017 08:58

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“The government will quickly resume the construction of the Shin Kori No. 5 and No. 6 nuclear reactors in accordance with the outcome of the debate,” President Moon Jae-in said on Sunday, upholding a recommendation made by the Public Opinion Committee. Moon, however, made clear that the government would push forward with the policies to build a nuclear-free nation as he previously vowed.

“I ask those who supported my campaign pledge to halt the construction to respect and accept the committee’s recommendation,” President Moon said on Sunday during his remarks on the outcome of the state committee’s debate on the construction of Shin Kori Units No. 5 and No. 6. “The government will work to present follow-up and complementary measures for the resumption of the construction as recommended by the committee.”

During his remarks, President Moon put a greater emphasis on the government’s determination to faithfully implement policies to reduce the nation’s reliance on nuclear power than the resumption of the construction of Shin Kori No. 5 and No. 6 reactors.

“The government will stop building new nuclear reactors, and once the stability in power supply can be confirmed, it will suspend the operation of the Wolseong-1 reactor, which currently is in operation after its designed lifespan was extended,” Moon said. He also praised the decision-making process of the committee, calling it “a good example of deliberative democracy,” and said he is “proud and respectful of our citizens.”

Moon added he “expects we can build on this experience to keep seeking dialogue and compromise when the nation faces conflicts in the future.” There was no mention of the controversy over the cost incurred from the suspension of construction during his remarks.

For their part, the opposition parties snarled in unison. “It is the duty of a president to offer an honest apology for making a hasty decision on the suspension of construction,” criticized conservative opposition Liberty Korea Party spokesperson Jun Hee-kyung, saying that Moon’s remarks are “truly disappointing as he is attempting to sugarcoat the hastily-made decision, which caused economic damage and social conflicts with deliberative democracy.”

“President Moon’s remarks are frustrating as he only highlighted that the decision-making process was meaningful, without uttering a word of apology for letting over 100 billion won go to waste as a result of the his suspension order made on a project that had already been well underway,” said Son Kum-ju, senior spokesperson of the People’s Party.



Sang-Jun Han alwaysj@donga.com · Gun-Huk Lee gun@donga.com