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Gum spitters face fines

Starting in September, those who spit chewing gum onto the Seoul streets will face a fine of between 30,000 won ($24) and 50,000 won.

Last week Seoul City proclaimed that its ordinance on waste disposal had been revised to include gum spitting, said officials Monday.

Not only police officers, but also district officials will be authorized to directly impose fines for those who violate the ordinance.

The amount of the fine will vary according to districts -- 50,000 won in Gangnam-Gu, Yongsan-Gu, Jongno-gu and Gung-Gu, but 30,000 won in Gwangjin-Gu and Jungrang-Gu.

The former ordinance only stipulated fines for those who discarded “cigarette butts, waste paper and other kinds of litter” onto the streets.

Most Seoul districts are expected to complete the processes of revising their internal ordinances by the end of next month, Seoul City officials said.

The city will promote a campaign against gum spitting until the end of August and start its crackdown from September.

Some 600 special agents will be sent out to subway stations, main streets and 31 demonstrative clean streets to watch for gum spitting.

The downtown park ordinance, too, will be similarly revised as to impose a 30,000 won fine on those caught spitting gum in parks as well as on the streets, said officials.

“We have decided to root out gum spitting from our city, especially with the G20 summit coming up this November,” said a city official.

“With some help from the citizens, we will be able to make a cleaner downtown environment not only for ourselves but also for foreign guests.”

It is also to save the cost and manpower required for removing discarded gum from the streets.

“It takes three times as much effort and time to remove the gum than to spit it out,” the official said.

By Bae Hyun-jung  (