South Korea abandoned a plan to pursuit whaling for “scientific reasons”, prompting international appreciation and additional pressure on Japan to quit its similar program.
South Korea scrapped a plan that had been announced two weeks ago at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission. According to the proposal, the hunting was necessary “for the proper assessment of whale stocks” in a region nearby the Korean coast.
The Korean press quoted an official saying that “the fisheries ministry was criticised for unilaterally announcing the resumption of whaling without discussing the matter with other ministries or the Prime Minister’s Office.”
As a result, the plan was withdrawn, prompting greetings from officials of the Australian government. The Australian Environment Minister, Tony Burke, said Japan should observe that South Korea’s decision “is simply greeted with international appreciation and respect.”
“It’s nice to see a friend and partner won’t be pursuing whaling,” said foreign minister Bob Carr. Australia’s government confirmed that it was fully committed to the case against Japan’s Antarctic “scientific whaling” at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Japan claims it hunts whales for scientific reasons, avoiding thus an international ban on whaling that has been in place since 1986.