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Government Not to Provide Cash Compensation for Wido Residents

Government Not to Provide Cash Compensation for Wido Residents

Posted July. 29, 2003 21:39,   


As the government decided Tuesday that it will not provide cash compensation, residents of Wido Island, off the coast of Buan County in North Jeolla Province, plan to block the construction of the nuclear waste treatment plant by all means.

The decision to push for a project that will benefit the residents instead of cash compensation was made during a cabinet meeting presided by President Roh Moo-hyun at Choeng Wa Dae.

“The majority of 6-7 cabinet members who made a comment claimed that cash incentives are against the national sentiment, can bring about issues over other projects, and can set an undesirable precedent in pushing for future projects,” said presidential spokesman Yoon Tai-young during a media briefing.

“In case that some residents insist on moving, we may have to give them some money needed,” said Cho Young-dong, head of the Government Information Agency. “We have talk about this further.”

“If we make a decision to provide them with assistance in haste, there can be some problems. Therefore, make it clear to help them but take some time to consult between the central and local governments,” President Roh instructed.

The president also said that officials in charge should explain the resident about the project and be fully prepared for possible confrontation how hard the situation may be.

A committee, headed by Lee Young-tak, minister for government policy coordination, was set up to draw up and carry out plans to fulfill its commitment to the area.

However, Wido residents warned that forceful construction by the government would only aggravate the situation.

A committee of residents in Buan County to override the project of the nuclear repository site urged Yoon Jin-sik, Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Energy, to leave his office and President Roh to apologize for this case.