Experts of S Korea, Japan to meet next week over nuclear crisis

The plant in northeastern Japan has been a focal point of international attention since its reactors went out of control after being hit by the March 11 killer earthquake and tsunami.
Japan began dumping more than 11,000 tons of contaminated water into the ocean this week after dousing the overheating reactors with it, triggering health concerns among neighboring countries.

A South Korean foreign ministry official told reporters on Friday that the release of radioactive water will be one of the issues to be discussed when the nuclear experts of Japan and South Korea gather next week, possibly in Japan.

Japan proposed the meeting first, the official said, speaking under the customary condition of anonymity. The proposal came after South Korea expressed uneasiness earlier in the week over Japan's failure to notify its neighbor before it announced it would begin releasing radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean to make room for storage of runoff measuring higher radiation.

"We expect our people's concerns and questions will be resolved when Japan provides more detailed and precise information" on the damage to the natural environment, the official said, adding the exact date for the meeting had not yet been set.

South Korea has also sought to dispatch a team of experts to the site of the nuclear crisis. The official did not say whether Japan has agreed to accept the request.

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