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S. Korean minister calls Japan 'immoral' for covering up radiation leak

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEJONG, Sept. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's fisheries minister strongly blasted Japan Monday for apparently trying to downplay, if not cover up, radiation leaks at its nuclear power plant.

Yoon Jin-sook, South Korea's minister of oceans and fisheries, stopped short of calling Japan a liar, saying the country is without conscience or morality.

The South Korean minister had said Japanese fishery products tested safe. The ministry, however, has placed an import ban on all fishery products from eight Japanese prefectures near the site of the Fukushima nuclear accident, in which a powerful earthquake led to a meltdown of a nuclear reactor in early 2011 and subsequent radiation leaks.

Fukushima's nuclear plant operator has recently reversed its denials that after two and a half years since the earthquake, it is leaking hundreds of metric tons of radioactive water per day into the ocean.

"We wondered if we had to protect such immoral people under diplomatic protocols, and so we did it (placed an import ban) as soon as we could," Yoon said while meeting with reporters here.

"We did not know that Japan would let the contaminated water leak. We thought this cannot be allowed while our people's fears were growing," she added.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/130930/s-korean-minister-calls-japan-immoral-covering-radiation-lea