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Suspended Civil Fishery Cooperation w/ Japan

Posted June. 26, 2001 09:22,   


Responding to the Japan`s decision not to withdraw the ban of Korean fishing from the Kuril Islands, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MAF) announced yesterday, ``Korean fishing vessels will begin their operation in the Kuril Islands from Aug. 20 as it is scheduled.`` And the Ministry warned, ``When Japan does not withdraw its ban, [Korea] would suspend the civil fishery cooperation between the two nations.``

Park Deok-Bae, the director of the Fishery Resources Bureau, emphasized yesterday that the Japanese unilateral banning of the Korean fishing is definitely against the Korea-Japan fishery pact and therefore, when Japan does not immediately withdraw its decision, the fishery cooperation relationship between the two countries will be seriously damaged.

Director Park added that, to express Korea`s protest, Seoul will not send the delegation to the unofficial strategic meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), which will be held in Tokyo on June 28-29. He also said that the civil fishery conference that Japan has requested on July 3-4 is not likely to be held. Director Park summoned Inomata Hiroshi Japan envoy in Korea to deliver the position of Korea officially to Japan.

However, Mr. Park did not reveal whether Korea will also ban Japanese ships from fishing in the Korean EEZ, saying ``It`s not the right time to reveal everything but we are preparing all countermeasures when Japan really makes its ban effective.``

MAF delivered the Korean position to Japan that the Korean fishing boats will go on their operations in the Kuril Islands according to the Korea-Russia agreement in December last year. The Korea side is currently negotiating the charges for fishing with Russia.