In Opposition to Exportation of Nuclear Wastes to North Korea

Green Party Taiwan, February 3, 1997

The protest in Taiwan, Our position

This January 11,1997 the nationally owned Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) contracted with North Korea to send 60,000 barrels of low-level nuclear waste to North Korea for final disposal. We, Green Party Taiwan, immediately expressed our opposition to this wrongful contract. In the weeks following, Taipower’s export of nuclear waste to a Third world country caused worldwide concern among world-wide environmental organizations and opposition from the South Korean government and people. South Korea environmental protection organization Green Korea sent six members to Taiwan on January 28 to express their opposition to the KMT-dominated Taiwan national government. Green Party Taiwan and Taiwan Environmental Protection Union personnel accompanied and supported Green Korea as it visited the Taiwan Legislative Yuan, Taipower, and the Ministry of Economics to express their opposition to the North Korean contract. On January 29, we commenced a peaceful sit-in in front of Taipower’s main office in Taipei. However, later that day, pro-nuclear Taipower employees confiscated our protest banners and pamphlets, and pro-KMT rightists began verbally threatening the sit-in participants. The next day, the Chinese New Party county councilor Mr. Chieh-So King and his followers came to our sit-in area and physically beat the members of Green Korea. Furthermore, the government took this opportunity to expel the six members of Green Korea. On January 31, members of another South Korean environmental organization, Korean Federation Environmental Movement (KFEM) and four South Korean congressmen entered Taiwan again to express their outrage. The People’s Republic of China also expressed their strong opposition to Taiwan’s nuclear waste disposal contract with North Korea. Following this, Chinese New Party drastically reversed their position, becoming opposed to Taipower’s contract with North Korea. Green Party Taiwan has always opposed nuclear electricity as environmentally destructive; we believe that environmental protection has no national boundaries. From the beginning, we supported South Korea’s just protest of Taipower’s nuclear waste export contract, and joined them in protesting when they visited Taiwan. We condemn the KMT government policy of exporting toxic wastes. In addition, we condemn the KMT for its political manipulation of the issue in accusing South Korea of violating Taiwan and North Korea’s national sovereignty in South Korea’s opposition to the nuclear waste disposal, yet at the same time demanding South Korea not politicize Taipower’s North Korean contract. We deride the Chinese New Party for its sudden reversal towards the Taipower contract in the wake of China’s opposition to it. We are disappointed in the long anti-nuclear Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for failing to take a stand on this crucial issue due to a “not-in-my-backyard” mentality. Even now, the KMT government insists on continuing Taipower’s exportation of nuclear waste to North Korea. We believe that international pressure is crucial at this moment.

1) We condemn the Taiwan government for expelling Green Korea members for their participation in peaceful protest.

2) We strongly oppose the export of nuclear waste to Third world countries like North Korea and China.

3) We demand that Taiwan’s high-level nuclear waste should be sent back to the United States for final refining and deposit as stated in the original contract between Taipower and its United States nuclear power plant contractor. Low-level nuclear waste should also be sent back to the United States or Russia for final refining and disposal if agreed to by the United States or Russia. Otherwise, it should be permanently deposited within Taiwan territory.

4) We demand that Taiwan should terminate the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant immediately. It should also cease the operation of the remaining three nuclear power plants as soon as possible in order to minimize the amount of toxic nuclear waste.

5) Environmental protection is a global goal with no national boundaries. Green Party Taiwan urges all international environmental organizations and international green parties to come together and stop Taiwan’s irresponsible exportation of nuclear wastes to North Korea.

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