The U.S. does not plan to take an immediate role regarding Japan's plan to discharge contaminated water from Fukushima into the ocean.
At a press conference in Seoul on Sunday, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said the U.S. is confident that Japan has had full consultations with the IAEA.
The UN nuclear watchdog, he said, has set up a "rigorous process," but he added that it's important for Japan to continue coordinating with the agency.
"We think we have confidence in the ability of the IAEA and Japan and our relationship at this point with the agency. We need to see how they process, and how they do, but we're not planning right now, we don't think it's appropriate for the U.S. to jump into a process that's already underway."
The former Secretary of State clarified that the U.S. will be engaged in the implementation of the process for public health, but not "in a formal way."
Meeting with Kerry on Saturday, South Korea's foreign minister Chung Eui-yong relayed what he said were the "grave concerns" of the Korean people and the government regarding the issue.
Chung asked for cooperation from the U.S. to ensure that Japan can provide information on the discharge of the water transparently and promptly.
World leaders will be attending a summit in the U.S. virtually this coming Thursday and Friday on climate change, but Kerry said the Fukushima issue is not a topic for that forum.
The envoy did say, however, that he appreciates South Korea's leadership on global and regional issues, including the climate crisis.
During his meeting with Chung, the two sides agreed to cooperate on the Leaders Summit on Climate, and on the P4G Summit in Seoul set for late May.
When Kerry was asked whether he expects Chinese President Xi Jinping to join Biden's summit, he said the decision is up to China, but they do expect Xi to take part since he was invited.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.