In the 1980’s and 90’s South Korea’s nuclear industry was growing, and the Korean environmental and anti-nuclear movement grew along with it. During the 1980’s, over fifty percent of the country’s electricity came from nuclear power, so that by the end of the decade, storage of the radioactive waste posed a formidable challenge as on-site storage facilities began to reach capacity.
South Korean environmentalists protect Gyeyang Mountain against golf course development, Incheon, 2006-2011.
Incheon is a dense city of 3 million in the northern part of South Korea. One significant destination in the area is Gyeyang Mountain, which lies adjacent to the city and attracts 10,000 tourists daily. Gyeyang is largely undeveloped and is home to over 600 endangered species. Since 1989, there have been four attempts by corporations to develop the slopes of the mountain, but all plans have been rejected by the regional government.
In 2003, the government of South Korea announced a ban on beef imported from the United States. Prior to the ban, South Korea had been the third largest purchaser of U.S. beef product. The decision to ban the product came after an animal in Washington was discovered to suffer from mad-cow disease. All together, more than fifty countries decided to ban U.S. beef imports after the incident, and consequently, the value of U.S. beef exports declined by $2.4 billion dollars over a three-year period.