Seoul, Beijing agree to establish 'fine dust hotline'

By Yonhap
  • Published : Mar 19, 2018 - 15:06
  • Updated : Mar 19, 2018 - 15:06

The city governments of Seoul and Beijing agreed Monday to designate liaison officers tasked with exchanging information on fine dust gripping the two capital cities in what officials dubbed a "fine dust hotline."

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon and Beijing Mayor Chen Jining also agreed to form a joint air quality research team to study ways to reduce fine dust as they held a biennial meeting of the cooperation committee between the two cities.

The two sides agreed to hold an air quality forum on a regular basis and alternately host an environment-related training program for city government officials. As part of the agreement, Seoul will host a workshop Tuesday on ways to reduce fine dust and volatile organic compounds, officials said.

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon (R) shakes hands with Beijing Mayor Chen Jining during a meeting in Seoul on March 19, 2018. (Yonhap)

Officials said it is the first time the two cities have signed a memorandum of understanding with such specific details on action plans, though the two sides have pledged to cooperate on environment issues from a broad framework.

"We've worked out ways of substantial cooperation in the air quality sector, which is an issue of common concern of the two cities and the most pressing issue to resolve," Mayor Park said. "This will be an important turning point in municipal diplomacy for reducing fine dust."

In addition to environmental cooperation, the two cities also agreed to work together to further bolster economic cooperation, such as attracting investments in startups and holding trade counseling sessions, officials said.(Yonhap)