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South Korea scraps plants, signals shift from nuclear energy

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Moon echoed these fears when he said, "South Korea is not safe from the risk of natural disaster, and a nuclear accident caused by a quake can have such a devastating impact".

Moon said Monday that South Korea will move away from the nuclear energy and will not seek to extend the life of existing nuclear plants. South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he hopes to draw North Korea to the negotiating table over its nuclear program by the end of the year and pushed off any talk about a potential preemptive strike, according to a U.S. media interview that aired today.

-South Korean military exercises and deployment of US strategic weapons if North Korea suspended its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Greenpeace and other environmental groups welcomed Moon's announcement.

He said: "The shutdown of Kori-1 is the beginning of a nuclear-free energy country, a paradigm shift for a safer Korea". The alliance has been the foundation of South Korea's prosperity and the new left-wing government should not ruin it, that is, the economic and national security foundation that has been built over a period of as long as 70 years.

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He added that Obama managed during his tenure to free 10 Americans held in North Korea. Warmbier had been released by Pyongyang days earlier after 17 months in state prison.

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When asked about frustration in Washington that Moon's administration has not fully deployed a USA anti-missile system and insisted on an environmental impact assessment first, the president said that getting the assessment done "does not mean that we will postpone or reverse the decision to deploy". According to the country's new president, numerous plants are located dangerously near residential areas. He said a nuclear meltdown could result in unimaginable consequences. Former President Lee Myung-bak promoted nuclear energy as part of the country's clean energy strategy and helped local companies win billions of dollars worth of deals to build nuclear reactors overseas. In the following year, fake parts scandals prompted an investigation and spread fear over nuclear plants' safety. Just as Trump has criticized former President Barack Obama's policy of "strategic patience", which involved putting pressure on North Korea and waiting for it to come to the table for talks, Moon says he also thinks it's necessary to use a combination of pressure and persuasion to bring North Korea to the negotiating table.

The project is being developed by Tamra Offshore Wind Power owned by Korea South East Power. The decommissioning will take at least 15 years and cost 643.7 billion won ($569 million), the energy ministry said.

South Korea announced Sunday that the Cheolmae-2, a medium-range surface-to-air missile (M-SAM) is ready for mass production.

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