Korea, China to establish dust warning system

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Korea, China to establish dust warning system

Korea and China have agreed to set up a joint early warning system related to fine dust, Seoul’s authorities said Thursday amid efforts here to counter air pollution.

The neighboring countries had a series of working-level talks on environmental issues earlier this week and agreed to expand bilateral partnerships against fine dust.

China is regarded as a source of the growing fine-dust problem in Korea, especially in winter and spring, given the direction of seasonal winds.

Korea proposed the exchange of information on air quality and relevant forecast technology, along with a joint study on soil pollution in mining areas.

Seoul also wants to work together with Beijing for the research of environmental policies for sustainable development.

The two sides agreed to launch the three projects, according to the foreign and environmental ministries.

They struck a deal on the early warning system and agreed to report a concrete action plan to the trilateral talks among the environmental ministers of Korea, China and Japan in the latter half of this year.

In this week’s sessions, Korea stressed the need for constant, combined effort to tackle the environmental issue, pointing out that South Korean people are increasingly concerned about the recent spread of ultra-fine dust, which is tantamount to a “disaster,” the ministries said.

China requested bilateral cooperation, based on patience, to deal with the problem, which requires a long-term response, saying China has improved air quality by more than 40 percent in major areas through domestic policies since 2013.

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