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South Korean activists call for end of atomic power

Agence France Presse - March 25, 2012

Seoul South Korean environment activists protested Sunday, calling for world leaders to abandon atomic energy completely as world leaders gathered in Seoul for a nuclear security summit.

Leaders or top officials from 53 countries including US President Barack Obama will meet on Monday and Tuesday for a summit aimed at reducing nuclear stockpiles and stopping them from falling into the hand of terrorists.

But the activists who convened in downtown Seoul accused world leaders of seeking to expand nuclear energy programs, despite last year's quake and tsunami-triggered meltdown at Japan's Fukushima plant.

"Outcry from Fukushima calls for abandonment of all nuclear development!" read a banner held by one of the protesters. "No nuke export! No nuke power!," read another banner.

The protesters, who police said numbered about 3,000, called for major nations with nuclear capabilities to cut their stockpiles more quickly, instead of focusing on pressuring weaker countries into abandoning their programs.

"Emerging countries will never give up their nuclear ambitions unless current nuclear powerhouses come forward first to make disarmament efforts," the organizers said in a joint statement.

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