Korea and China will hold bilateral talks over environmental issues in January, the government said Sunday. The discussions are expected to center on reducing fine dust pollution, as Korea has been pushing policies to reduce hazardous particles coming from China.
The Ministry of Environment said three meetings will take place in Seoul on Jan. 23 and 24, including the 23rd meeting of the Korea-China joint committee on environmental cooperation, senior-level talks and a meeting of the environmental cooperation center.
The two countries have held the annual joint committee meeting in Beijing and Seoul since 1993, when they established bilateral agreements on environmental cooperation. In June, Korea and China also opened the environmental cooperation center in Beijing to manage joint projects on environmental issues.
As Korea’s air pollution has been worsening each year, the meetings are likely to discuss ways to reduce and manage fine dust that originates from China. Fine dust refers to tiny particles smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter, which are believed to cause respiratory diseases and to increase the risk of cancer.
During the Environment Ministry’s 2019 policy briefing, Minister Cho Myung-rae pledged stronger measures to curb fine dust blowing in from China next year.
“The two countries have built the foundation of environmental cooperation until now, but next year, we will work on yielding outcomes from joint projects,” Cho said.
By Park Ju-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)