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South Korea, Japan leaders to meet; Fukushima radioactive water, North Korea missile launch focus

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday on the sidelines of a NATO summit, with the expectation that the release of radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant and North Korea on the agenda is.

Japan plans to soon release more than a million tons of purified radioactive water from the tsunami-devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant, a move that has sparked anger and concern among South Koreans.

After a two-year review, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said last week that Japan’s plans were in line with global safety standards and would have a “negligible radiological impact on humans and the environment.”

A South Korean presidential official has said the Fukushima water drainage plan could be discussed at the meeting.

South Korea’s government on Friday said it respected the IAEA’s report and that its own analysis found the release will not have a “meaningful impact” on its waters.

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But Seoul has said it will decide whether or not to agree to Japan’s release when Tokyo comes up with the final plan.

North Korea is also likely to be at the center of the meeting, which will take place in Lithuania, after Pyongyang launched a long-range ballistic missile off its east coast just hours before the scheduled talks.

Seoul and Tokyo have taken steps in recent years to improve ties between the old Northeast Asian rivals, especially because of the threat from North Korea.

Pyongyang has issued heated complaints in recent days about US military activity in the region, accusing a US spy plane of intruding into its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and warning of a “highly critical flight” if they continue what it’s called. illegal infringement”. “

Separately, Yoon also plans to meet with leaders from Japan, Australia and New Zealand while in Lithuania.

(Reporting by Soo-hyang Choi; Editing by Michael Perry)

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