S. Korea sets broader no-go zone around Fukushima plant for its nationals

16:46, March 17, 2011      

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South Korea Foreign Affairs and Trade minister Kim Sung-hwan speaks during a press brief in Seoul, capital of South Korea on March 17, 2011. (Xinhua/Park Jin Hee)

South Korea on Thursday advised its nationals to stay outside an 80-km radius surrounding the crippled Japanese nuclear power plant, expanding the no-go area amid deepening concerns over radiation leaks.

The move comes two days after the government told those living or traveling within a 30-km radius of the stricken plant in the northeastern Japanese province of Fukushima to evacuate or take shelter.

"We will take various additional measures as situations develop, " foreign minister Kim Sung-hwan told reporters in a press briefing in Seoul.

"Agencies concerned are exchanging as much information as possible with Japan," he said, adding "the government trusts announcements and the efforts by the Japanese government and will base our responses (to the incident) on them."

The newly elevated warning also comes after the United States and Britain asked their citizens in an 80-km radius around the plant, hit by last week's massive earthquake and tsunami, to evacuate in fear of potential exposure to radiation.

Radiation leaks from damaged reactors the Fukushima plant are believed to have affected up to 190 people in the region, and tens of thousands of residents were ordered to leave the area.

At the request of Japan, South Korea is set to offer 52.6 tons of boric acid to help slow down nuclear reactions and contain radiation at the quake-damaged reactors.

Source: Xinhua

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