Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant Strikes Again “Minor Nuclear Accident Damage”… US Vice President Kamala Visits Philippines, Emphasizes Strong Alliance

‘Global Village Today’ presents big news from different countries around the world.

Host) What news do you have today?

Reporter) Yes. Ukraine’s Zaporizhia nuclear power plant has been decommissioned over the weekend. As Russia and Ukraine blame each other, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has warned not to play with fire, saying that a critical situation is brewing. US Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Philippines to reaffirm the US commitment to strong bilateral relations.

Host) Global Village Today, we start with news from Ukraine. Zaporizhzhya nuclear power station in Ukraine hit again?

Reporter) Yes. The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, was bombed again yesterday morning (20th). The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a statement on this day, and revealed that there were at least 12 explosions in the area of ​​the nuclear power plant for 40 minutes following the previous day (19th).

Moderator) By the way, are Russia and Ukraine fighting again over the subject of the attack?

Reporter) Yes. Ukraine’s state energy company, Energoatom, which operates the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, criticized Russia for dumping the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, accusing Russia of “nuclear blackmail” of endangering the world. On the other hand, the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that Ukrainian forces fired shells at power lines connected to the power plant.

Moderator) Did you find out the extent of the damage?

Correspondent) Rafael Grossi, Secretary General of the IAEA, in a statement released yesterday (20th), reported the damage situation based on reports from IAEA experts who live in nuclear power plants. He said the radioactive waste storage building, the cooling water reservoir collection system, the condensate storage tank, and the power lines were damaged in the shaking.

Host) Isn’t that a pretty serious situation?

Reporter) Yes. Rafael Grossi, president of the IAEA, said that a nuclear accident was narrowly avoided, and that it was fortunate that no serious accident occurred. He warned that he might be out of luck next time. Grossi said radiation levels around the plant are now normal.

Moderator) Isn’t the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant stopped right now?

Reporter) That’s right. As concerns about radioactive fallout increased due to a series of explosions around the nuclear power plant, it has been in full-scale operating mode since mid-September. However, if the minimum power supply to operate the cooling system is disrupted or the spent fuel rod storage building is hit, it can lead to a nuclear disaster.

Moderator) Recently, power lines have been frequently damaged due to successive shelling, right?

Reporter) That’s right. The successive shelling around the nuclear plant often breaks down the last transmission line connecting the nuclear plant to Ukraine’s power grid. Each time, Energoatom Ukraine activated an emergency diesel generator and began restoring power lines. Recently, Energoatom claimed that Russia was trying to connect power lines to its grid.

Presenter) The shortage of electricity in Ukraine is very serious at the moment. The fact that the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is not operating normally will also be a factor that worsens the situation?

Reporter) Yes. Before the war, the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant provided about a fifth of Ukraine’s electricity. Currently, Energoatom is preparing to restart reactors 5 and 6. Energoatom said the damaged facilities and equipment are related to units 5 and 6, and that Russia has prevented Ukraine from resuming electricity production.

Moderator) Russia and Ukraine claim each other is responsible What countermeasures does the IAEA have?

Reporter) General Grossi said that experts who live in the nuclear power plant will inspect and evaluate the site and the bomb facilities directly today (21st). However, Russian nuclear power plant operator ‘Rosenergoatom’ warned in an interview with Russian ‘TAS’ news agency, “If they want to inspect facilities not related to nuclear safety, access will be denied.”

Moderator) How is the war situation developing now?

Reporter) Fierce fighting is taking place between Russian and Ukrainian police forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine. The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, said in a video address to the nation yesterday (20th) that there are almost 400 shells a day in the eastern region. In Donetsk, heavy fighting is taking place amid massive Russian bombardment, while Ukrainian forces are slowly but slowly advancing in Luhansk.

Moderator) The war has been going on for 9 months now, right?

Reporter) Yes. Since the Russian military launched an all-out war against Ukraine at dawn on February 24th, it will enter its 10th month in three days. In the midst of this, President Zelensky again presented 10 conditions for the end of the war yesterday (20th).

Moderator) President Zelensky has been referring to the terms of the end of the war recently, right?

Reporter) Yes. As the war continues to drag on, voices are emerging from the international community cautiously calling for an end to the war. President Zelensky demanded the terms of the end of the war again yesterday (20th) at the Meeting of International Organizations (OIF) following a video speech at the G20 summit on the 15th.

Moderator) What are the conditions offered by Ukraine?

Correspondent) immediate withdrawal of Russian forces, cessation of hostilities, release of prisoners of war, implementation of the United Nations Charter, prevention of escalation of tension, consolidation of the end of the war, restoration of justice, nuclear security, food security and energy security. In addition, Russia is demanding the return of the Crimean Peninsula, which it forcibly annexed in 2014, and four regions of Ukraine which it had also annexed at the end of August.

Moderator) Are these conditions difficult for Russia to accept?

Reporter) Yes. In particular, Russia dismisses it as non-negotiable in terms of territories. For this reason, there are comments that it is difficult to sit down in the conference room. Russia claims that not only the Crimean Peninsula, but also Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia, and Kherson, which were annexed last August, were made legal by a vote asking local residents for their intention to incorporate them. However, the international community does not recognize it.

US Vice President Kamala Harris (left) and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. speaking at the Manila Palace on the 21st. (File photo)

Presenter) Global Village Next news today. US Vice President Kamala Harris visited Philippines?

Reporter) Yes. Vice President Harris arrived in the Philippines last night (20th). Vice President Harris traveled to the Philippines after attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit last week in Bangkok, Thailand.

Host) The Philippines is a traditional Asian ally of the United States, right?

Reporter) That’s right. The United States and the Philippines signed a Mutual Defense Treaty in 1951 and have maintained an alliance for more than 70 years. However, with the inauguration of President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016, cracks began to form in the relationship between the two countries.

Moderator) Didn’t former President Duterte take a move in favor of China?

Reporter) Yes. Former President Duterte, former mayor of Divao, southern Mindanao, followed a policy that was oriented towards China, claiming pragmatic diplomacy after taking office. On the other hand, with the United States, a traditional ally, when a controversy arose over the suppression of human rights over President Duterte’s extremely powerful ‘war on drugs’, he threatened to destroy the ‘Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA)’ and impose edge . The Philippines is a one-term president, and former President Duterte did not run for president in June.

Host) And now the Philippines is in power with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.?

Reporter) That’s right. He is the only son of the notorious Filipino dictator, former President Ferdinand Marcos. Incumbent President Marcos Junior won a landslide victory over the incumbent Vice President in the presidential election in May, despite criticism from Filipino and some human rights groups.

Host) Did Vice President Harris meet President Marcos?

Reporter) Yes. The two met today (21st) at the Manila Presidential Palace. Vice President Harris is the highest ranking US government official to visit the Philippines since President Marcos took office on June 30.

Moderator) What did you two talk about?

Reporter) Yes. Vice President Harris emphasized to President Marcos the strong alliance between the two countries. Specifically, he said the United States would intervene under the Mutual Defense Treaty if Philippine forces, ships or aircraft were attacked in the South China Sea. Vice President Harris also emphasized that the United States supports the Philippines in accordance with international resolutions and upholds international rules and norms in the South China Sea territorial dispute.

Moderator) The South China Sea issue is one of the most serious factors of conflict between China and the Philippines, right?

Reporter) Yes. China claims 90% of the South China Sea as its territorial waters. However, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei also claimed sovereignty and caused long-standing conflicts. In particular, the Philippines filed a complaint with the Permanent Court of International Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, Netherlands. In 2016, the PCA sided with the Philippines, saying China’s claims were unfounded. However, China is expanding its influence in the region without doing so.

Host) What did President Marcos talk about?

Reporter) President Marcos replied, “I do not think of a future for the Philippines without the United States.” Before that, President Marcos held a solo summit with US President Joe Biden at the United Nations General Assembly held in New York in September, reaffirming the alliance between the two countries, and predicting a change in the Philippines’ policy towards the United States .

Moderator) Yes. Global Village Today, I will listen to this.

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