August 10, 2011 09:24
The Korean Foreign Ministry on Tuesday called in two diplomats from the Chinese Embassy in Seoul to ask for information about an alleged radiation leak from a Chinese nuclear submarine. The diplomats denied the leak, contradicting a report on July 30 on U.S.-based Chinese-language news site Boxun.com.
The Chinese government did not give Korea any information through the proper official channels, although the state-run Global Times last Friday quoted the Defense Ministry as denying there was a radiation leak, a Korean government official said. "So we called in Chinese diplomats to ask them to convey Korea's request for information."
He quoted the diplomats as saying the passage of ships in Bohai Bay was suspended for eight hours last Thursday due to a "routine Navy exercise." They added there was no need to confirm this claim with Beijing.
The Foreign Ministry called in the diplomats because China had previously failed to notify Korea of a massive oil spill in Bohai Bay for more than a month. Seoul concluded that the Korean Embassy in Beijing alone is unable to penetrate the official Chinese wall of silence.
The Foreign Ministry wants to set up a bilateral cooperation mechanism so Beijing has to inform Seoul immediately if similar accidents occur.
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