onsdag 3. april 2019

'Killer dust' pollutes South Korea's relations with China

South Korea is choking on smog, and even the president is pinning at least some of the blame on China. Air pollution readings in early March hit three times the recommended levels, fueling something of a panic. Citizens are contemplating moves to Canada or Japan to escape the "killer dust." Parents are banning their children from playing outside, while schools are hastily setting up indoor playgrounds. And the National Assembly passed a bill declaring a "social disaster," freeing up government funds to fight the problem.

But President Moon Jae-in argues his country should not have to fight this battle alone. "Fine dust is not just a domestic issue, but a problem related to China," Moon said on March 21 as he brought in Ban Ki-moon, the former United Nations secretary-general, to head up a new committee on the matter. The president expects the veteran diplomat to play a central role in relaying Seoul's concerns to Beijing and coordinating a response.