Anchor: The South Korean government plans to dispose of illegally-exported garbage that was sent to the Philippines and returned to Korea by next month at the latest.
Choi You Sun has this report.
Report: The Environment Ministry said Tuesday that one-thousand-200 tons of waste that arrived at Pyeongtaek Port from the Philippines on February third will be disposed of by next month.
In cooperation with the Pyeongtaek city government, the ministry said it has prepared a detailed plan of hoe to handle the garbage should the local company that illegally exported it fail to follow the government's disposal order.
If the company, which didn't respond when the garbage was seized by authorities in the Philippines, continues to be unresponsive, the ministry will spend 600 million won of state money to incinerate the waste and then seek compensation from the company.
There is also five-thousand-100 tons of waste yet to be returned from the Philippines and the company has an additional 12-thousand tons of garbage piled up at ports in Pyeongtaek, Gwangyang and Gunsan.
The garbage, mainly consisting of plastic mixed with debris, was illegally exported to the Philippines last year by the company, which reported to authorities that the waste was separated and sorted out recycling.
The incident made international headlines after the Philippine government and environmental groups urged for the garbage to be returned to South Korea.
The company in question is under investigation by the Environment Ministry for violating laws related to the international transport of waste.
The ministry said it is currently conducting an inspection of plastic waste exporters in the country and plans to announce measures to prevent illegal exports of waste sometime this month.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.