South Korea on Wednesday proposed resuming whaling for scientific research, angering other Asian countries and conservationists who said the practice would skirt a global ban on whale hunting.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said she would fight the proposal, which was made at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Panama City.
Critics said the move to pursue whaling in domestic waters was modeled on Japan's introduction of scientific whaling after the IWC imposed a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling.
Japan says it has a right to monitor the whales' impact on its fishing industry. South Korea says whaling is a longstanding cultural tradition.
Anti-whaling activists regularly harass Japanese vessels engaging in their annual whale hunt in the Southern Ocean off Australia and Antarctica, with the two sides sometimes clashing violently. At least one activist boat has sunk in recent years.
In Seoul, a government official said South Korea abided by international regulations and it would be up to the IWC to assess its proposal.
"We've submitted a proposal to the IWC's Scientific Committee to resume scientific whaling in our waters and will await the committee's assessment," said an official at... Source/Origin >> Read More