Anti-nuclear activists stage protest in Seoul
Seoul: Anti-nuclear activists staged a protest here on Friday to condemn the Nuclear Industry Summit that opened ahead of next week's Nuclear Security Summit.
About 30 activists had initially planned to hold the protest in front of the venue of the industry summit, but their attempt was blocked by a heavy police presence, Xinhua reported.
They instead staged a demonstration in the nearby subway station, surrounded by police trying to prevent them from disrupting the largest nuclear industry event in South Korea.
The activists chanted slogans such as "No more Fukushima" and "No nuke in Asia".
They also held banners with strong messages like "We absolutely oppose nuclear power plants" and "Scrap the Nuclear Security Summit" and urged nuclear energy corporations and the international community to show a firm commitment to a nuclear free world by stopping exports of nuclear power plants.
"We call on the people to be more vigilant. Resist plans to build nuclear power in our backyards. Reject plans of powerful nations and corporations to expose this deadly technology," said Emily Fajardo, an activist from the Philippines.
South Korean activists joined hands with the foreign protesters, denouncing the government for hosting the Nuclear Security Summit.
"Next week's Nuclear Security Summit will talk about safety and security. Safety and security are important, but they can't be attained without the reduction of nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons," said Yangyi Won-young, director of the Seoul-based Joint Action for Nuclear-Free Society.
"Before we discuss safety and security, the issues of shutting down nuclear power plants and reducing nuclear weapons should come first."
The Nuclear Industry Summit on March 23-24 has invited nuclear energy industry leaders from around the world to address various issues, including nuclear material control and the safety of atomic power plants.
The global event took place in the run-up to the Nuclear Security Summit March 26-27. The upcoming summit marks the largest international gathering South Korea has ever hosted.
The event will bring together 57 heads of states and representatives of international organisations to discuss safeguarding nuclear materials and ensuring atomic safety. With the summit just around the corner, South Korean police raised its security alert to the highest level, mobilising about 36,000 police officers.