President Moon Jae-in is expected to state his position as early as Sunday on an independent state panel's recommendation that the government resume the construction of two nuclear power reactors that Moon had pledged to abandon during the election campaign, sources said Saturday.
The panel unveiled the recommendation Friday, saying an official survey of 471 people selected for the jury showed that 59.5 percent support the resumption of the construction of the Shin Kori-5 and Shin Kori-6 reactors in the southeastern city of Ulsan while 40.5 percent backed their abandonment.
Scrapping the project was one of Moon's campaign promises.
After taking office, however, he decided to determine the reactors' fate according to public opinion and ordered the establishment of the commission charged with collecting public views and making a recommendation.
Cheong Wa Dae said Friday following the announcement that it will respect the outcome. Moon could make his first official comment on the decision as early as Sunday.
"Though it hasn't been fixed yet, there is a possibility of (Moon) stating his position tomorrow afternoon," a presidential official said on customary condition of anonymity.
In the message, Moon is expected to say that he would respect and follow the panel's recommendation. He is also expected to attach great meaning to the three-month process of deliberations and coming up with a solution to the highly controversial issue.
Moon, however, is expected to state his nuclear phase-out policy will continue.
The commission's survey also found that 53.2 percent support scaling back nuclear power generation while 35.5 percent supported maintaining the current situation and only 9.7 percent called for the expansion of nuclear power generation.
Moon believes South Korea should lessen its dependence on nuclear power and increase the use of renewable energy. But he has stressed that the government will gradually close reactors one by one when their lifespan is up, rather than rushing to shut them down early. (Yonhap)