Thu, Mar 07, 2019 - Page 5 News List

Seoul proposes rain project with Beijing to clean air pollution

AP, SEOUL

A man wearing a mask rides a bicycle along the Han River in Seoul, South Korea, yesterday.

Photo: AP

South Korean President Moon Jae-in yesterday proposed a joint project with China to use artificial rain to clean the air in Seoul, where an acute increase in pollution has caused alarm.

Moon instructed officials to quicken the retirement of old coal-burning power plants, presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.

Seoul has been struggling to tackle the rise in air pollution that experts have linked to Chinese industrial activity and emissions from South Korean vehicles.

Fine dust levels in South Korea hit new highs over the past week, leaving people wearing masks while commuting under thick-gray skies that online users have compared with scenes from the movie Wall-E.

Kim said that Moon told government officials at a meeting that China was “much more advanced” than South Korea in technologies for initiating rain and expressed to them his hope that creating rain over waters between the nations would help mitigate air pollution.

A January experiment by the Korea Meteorological Administration failed to create artificial rain.

“China has claimed that South Korea’s dust flies toward Shanghai, so creating artificial rain over the Yellow Sea would help the Chinese side too,” Kim quoted Moon as saying during the meeting.

Moon last year told Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi (楊潔篪) that China was partially responsible for South Korea’s pollution problem and asked Beijing to join Seoul’s efforts to improve its air quality.

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