S. Korea’s industry ministry to put more emphasis on clean energy

SEJONG-- South Korea's industry ministry said Tuesday that it will turn its eyes toward promoting clean energies as part of President Moon Jae-in's nuclear-free pledge.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy outlined its policy goals to President Moon at a gathering in Sejong, an administrative city some 130 kilometers south of Seoul.

"The ministry will expand the country's reliance on renewable energy to 20 percent by 2030," the ministry said in a release. "Also, we will phase out coal-fired power stations and improve facilities to cut emissions of pollution materials by half by 2030."

The chief executive has been pushing the country away from nuclear power and replacing it with renewable energy, such as solar and wind power. South Korea at present gets a significant part of its electricity from nuclear reactors.

In line with Moon's pursuit, the country's oldest nuclear reactor of Kori-i was shut down permanently in June, with the construction of two reactors temporarily suspended pending a final shutdown decision.

According to the incumbent government's plan, the country's current atomic power capacity will likely drop to zero in stages by 2079 when the last atomic plant, the Shin-Hanul 2, reaches the end of its operational life cycle.

At the same time, the ministry will stay firm against further U.S. requests for an amendment to the Seoul-Washington free trade agreement (FTA), which has been under fire by U.S. President Donald Trump for a trade imbalance.

It will ask the U.S. side to carry out a joint study on the effects of the FTA and the cause of a U.S. deficit in the goods trade so as to analyze and assess the overall situation before engaging in earnest negotiations.

Last week, delegates from the two sides had a meeting in Seoul to discuss the issue but reached no agreement.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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