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Front-runner Moon pledges to scrap construction of coal-fired power plants, nuclear reactors

South Korea's leading presidential candidate Moon Jae-in on Saturday unveiled a set of energy policy pledges that include reducing coal-fired power plants and nuclear reactors in the country, while expanding renewable energies.

Moon's camp said there will be no more construction of nuclear reactors and coal-fired power plants. The presidential candidate of the liberal Democratic Party also said he will shut down the aged Wolsong No. 1 nuclear reactor, and halt construction of units 5 and 6 of the Shin Kori nuclear power plant.

Moon also pledged to add the state-run Nuclear Safety and Security Commission under direct control of the president once he wins the May 9 presidential election.

The 64-year-old candidate added that if construction on a coal-fired power plant is less than 10 percent completed, he will review the project after he takes leadership of the country. 

"We can no longer delay the pursuit of safe and clean energies," he said in a statement. "I will reduce coal-fired power plants and nuclear reactors, but will increase renewable natural gas power generation."

Moon said he wants to increase the portion of renewable energy in total electric generation from the current 1.1 percent to 20 percent by 2030.

South Korea currently operates 22 nuclear reactors, supplying about 30 percent of its total electricity. (Yonhap)