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The Federal Government says South Korea has abandoned its plans to start
a so-called scientific whaling program.
South Korea sparked an
international outcry last week when it unveiled the plan at the
International Whaling Commission meeting in Panama.
Government labelled it unacceptable and ordered Australian diplomats to
lodge protests in Seoul.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr today said he had
held talks on whaling with his Korean counterpart Kim Sung-Hwan at the East
Asia Summit in Cambodia.
"I was very heartened that he indicated to me
that plans for scientific whaling, as it's called, would not proceed,"
Senator Carr told PM.
"I told him that was a decision that would be
"I said Korea's committed itself to green growth -
it's capable of becoming a global green super-power - and its green
credentials would not be compromised, as they would be if whaling had been
"I think it's a very happy outcome and it reflects a lot of
credit on the statesmanship and the responsiveness of the Korean
Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt says Korea
need to make its stance on whaling clearer.
"We'll reserve our final
judgement until it's crystal clear that there will be no whaling by South
Korea," he said.
"But any progress is good progress and it's
important to be generous not stingy."
South Korean officials had
previously hinted Seoul may bow to international pressure and abandon the
The plan would have used a loophole in the global whaling
moratorium to resume the killing of whales in its own waters for so-called
South Korea says fishermen have been calling for
the whales to be killed because they are increasing in numbers and impacting
Senator Carr says the Korean government was divided over
"I joked that was very often the case in democratic
politics; (that) the views of one arm of the government aren't those of the
government as a whole," he said.