World Bulletin / News Desk
South Korea angered conservationists on Wednesday by proposing to conduct whaling for scientific research, a practice that critics say would skirt a global ban on whale hunting.
South Korea announced its proposal at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Panama City. Critics say the move was modeled on Japan's introduction of scientific whaling after a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling.
Japan argues it has a right to monitor the whales' impact on its fishing industry.
"South Korea announced its intention to resume whale hunting for scientific purposes," said Tomas Guardia, Panama's representative to the international body.
"We are worried about this proposal because it goes against the ban ... we don't support whale hunting under any circumstances," Guardia said.
South Korea said its fishermen were complaining that growing whale populations were depleting fishing stocks, an assertion that the World Wildlife Fund said had no scientific basis.
Environmental activists say the term scientific whaling is a thinly veiled ruse to allow hunting in countries where whale meat is a popular delicacy. South Korea sells whale meat from animals accidentally caught in fishing nets.
"It's an absolute shock this happened at this meeting and it's an absolute disgrace because to say that hunting whales is happening in the name of science is just wrong. Essentially, its commercial whaling in another form," James Lorenz from Greenpeace told Australian television.
Lorenz said South Korea must take its proposal to the Whaling Commission's science committee.
The minke whales that South Korea proposes hunting are considered endangered, the World Wildlife Fund said in a statement.
An H-IIA rocket blasted off at about 2:30 pm (0530 GMT) from the Tanegashima space centre in southern Japan, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
Event offers unprecedented chance for continuous observations across country
Turkish Statistical Institute releases results of April survey on Internet usage
A source close to the matter confirmed a New York Times report on Friday that Facebook took the unusual step of creating an app called Colorful Balloons and releasing it through a local company with no hint that the social network was involved.
The iPhone maker is the latest from Silicon Valley to face a conundrum in balancing their value for human rights and free expression against a government intent on controlling online content.
Researchers use CRISPR gene editing to remove mutation that causes heart failure
Equipped with smart ammunition system, Armed Bayraktar TB2 drones hit precise targets during tests on Sunday
Johnson, kicking off a trip to Japan, visited the robotic centre at Waseda University, which works closely with Britain's University of Birmingham on robotic technologies.
Juno spacecraft will get closest look ever at planet’s massive, centuries-old storm
Novel way of serving has attracted a large number of customers to pizza place in northeastern Multan city
Due to be launched in 2018, BepiColombo will be the European Space Agency's first mission to the closest rock to the Sun.
In historic first, company successfully lands cargo capsule also used to resupply ISS in 2014
Push to cloud business could mean thousands of layoffs, sources say
Company will no longer pull data from free Gmail inboxes to personalize ads
Kepler telescope reveals details of more than 200 newly-found planets in Milky Way