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South Korea to begin ‘scientific whaling,’ following Japan

South Korea is to follow Japan and begin “scientific whaling,” killing minke whales, in move likely to outrage Australia, New Zealand.

South Korea is to follow Japan and begin “scientific whaling,” killing minke whales, according to reports.

Earlier, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) narrowly agreed to extend whaling rights for indigenous populations in the US, Russia and the Caribbean during its annual meeting taking place in Panama.

More from GlobalPost: International Whaling Commission extends whaling rights for indigenous Alaskans

Agence France-Presse, meantime, reported that South Korean delegates confirmed the plan Wednesday and would submit future whaling plans to a scientific committee of the global body.

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Seoul was not looking for approval by other nations.

The BBC reported that the whaling would take place near the Korean coast, and would target minke whales.

It said it was not clear how many whales would be killed.

Japan conducts says its whaling program is technically abiding by a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling as its activities are for research.

The BBC quoted South Korea’s delegation head, Joon-Suk Kang, as saying the program was needed “for the proper assessment of whale stocks,” and to answer questions that non-lethal research had been unable to solve.

The head of the New Zealand delegation said the plan “bordered on the reckless.”

Japan each year kills hundreds of whales in Antarctic waters that are considered a sanctuary by Australia and New Zealand, who conduct whale-watching tours, AFP wrote.

The Japanese whalers are often shadowed by the militant US-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

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