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Anti-whaling activists rally

Around 10 South Korean environmentalists staged a rally on Friday (July 6) against a scientific whaling proposal, after government officials unveiled the plan at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Panama City earlier in the week. South Korea said scientific whaling is "the right" of IWC members. Three activists staged a mock killing of a whale in Seoul, using hammers and saws. Choi Ye-yong, a member of the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement, claimed the proposed scientific whaling would be for commercial purposes. South Korea's move has angered other Asian countries and conservationists who said the practice would skirt a global ban on whale hunting. Critics said the move to pursue whaling in domestic waters was modelled 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 long-standing cultural tradition. The minke whales that South Korea proposes hunting are considered endangered, the World Wildlife Fund has said in a statement. Whales are currently still hunted by Japan, Iceland and Norway.

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