Whaling in Korea is wrong
I was disappointed to read the Korea Times' most recent editorial "Let whales live safely," which admonished the government not for the resumption of whale hunting (the idea of which was implicitly endorsed), but bizarrely for the timing of the announcement.
Much like the milquetoast populists running the government, the Times seems more concerned with international opinion than with the actual act of whaling itself.
Many species of whale were hunted nearly to annihilation in the 19th and 20th centuries. Partially as a response to scientific evidence suggesting that some whale populations were nearing extinction, both whaling and anti-whaling nations colluded in 1982 to place a moratorium on commercial whaling.
Since the moratorium went into effect, some whale populations have begun to recover, a rare victory for the environment in a world placing increasingly more demands upon it.
But the International Whaling Commission, which regulates whaling among member states, is a voluntary organization; there is no treaty binding the member states to international law.
And Japan has for years cynically used a scientific exception to hunt and sell whale meat, buying allies in the IWC to support its case, and now Korea seems intent to follow suit, and the biggest objection the Nation's First English Daily can make is that the announcement was ill-timed.
Whaling in Korea is wrong not because Australia and New Zealand are opposed to it. Whaling in Korea is wrong because it's wrong everywhere.
Several species of whale were nearly extirpated from the wild during the glory days of commercial whaling.
The 20th century has proven that industrial whaling is untenable on a commercial scale. Any step, however small, leading to its resumption would be a disaster for whales, the ecosystems they inhabit, and ultimately the people that depend upon those ecosystems.