March 07, 2019 13:27
President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday called for talks with China about emergency measures to reduce air pollution drifting over from the mainland.
The president's comments came as Korea was blanketed by the worst-ever levels of ultrafine dust for almost a week. But China again bristled and questioned whether Seoul has any proof that China is responsible for the toxic haze.
Opposition lawmakers here also made hay by criticizing Moon for being too blunt and souring ties with China.
Moon told officials that Korea's and China's environment ministers agreed only last week to share artificial rainmaking technology. "China is far ahead in terms of rainmaking technology and claims that dust from our country is flowing into the Shanghai region," he said. "If we create artificial rain on the West Sea, that would not only help Korea, but China as well."
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, "I wonder if the South Korean side has any basis that its smog is from China" and added he was not aware if the issue is being discussed between the two sides, though cooperation would be good.
A Cheong Wa Dae official said, "We will make a formal proposal to the Chinese government and progress with negotiations."
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