Asian countries and conservationists have slammed South Korea's plans to start whaling by using a loophole that allows the killing of whales for scientific research.
South Korea announced its plans at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Panama on July 4.
Critics say the move is modeled on Japan's controversial "scientific whaling" expeditions launched following a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling.
Conservationists insist the research benefits are negligible and the meat from whales killed in Japanese hunts is sold for food.
The governments of Australia and New Zealand have vowed to fight Seoul's proposal.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP