South Korea points to China as source of dust pollution

World | 7 Mar 2019 2:55 pm

South Korea's top diplomat said today that there is a link between China and the worsening air pollution in South Korea, which officials describe as tantamount to a disaster.

"It's true that there's a cause [of fine dust] stemming from China," Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha told reporters as she emerged from a National Assembly meeting on the North Korea issue, Yonhap reports.

She was asked about the Chinese government's view on the fine dust problem in Seoul.

A day earlier, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a press briefing, "I do not know if there's sufficient ground [to say] that fine dust in South Korea has come from China."

It looks like that there has been no fine dust in Beijing "over the last two days," when Seoul was blanketed by dense fine dust, he added.

"The cause [of fine dust] is very complicated," he said. "Comprehensive handling should be based on a scientific attitude."

His remarks came hours after President Moon Jae In called for joint efforts with China to combat the problem.

Ruling and opposition parties also agreed to pass a set of bills next week aimed at improving air quality. They include a measure to declare severe fine dust a "national disaster" and use state funds to tackle it.

South Korea and China held talks between their environment ministers and discussed possible joint steps against fine dust, according to Kang.

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