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S Korea says it respects IAEA report on Fukushima water release plan

The South Korean government respects the outcome of the International Atomic Energy Agency's safety review on Japan's plan to release treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea, a government official said Wednesday, despite protests by civi groups.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi submitted the agency's report on its two-year review to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday. The report said that Japan's water discharge plan aligns with international safety standards and will have "a negligible radiological impact on people and the environment."

Park Ku Yeon, the first deputy chief of South Korea's Office for Government Policy Coordination, said, "The government has long maintained its stance of recognizing the IAEA as a prestigious, internationally agreed-upon agency and we hold respect for its findings."

Park added during a daily briefing that the government is hoping to speed up the release date of its own scientific analysis of Japan's water discharge plan, which is in the final stages and is set to be announced alongside its analysis of the IAEA report.

Grossi is scheduled to arrive in Seoul on Friday after his four-day trip in Japan, according to the South Korean government. He will meet the head of the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission, South Korea's nuclear safety watchdog, as well as Foreign Minister Park Jin.