Seoul seeks to develop fine dust forecast system with Beijing

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : Febuary 27, 2014, 16:31 | Updated : Febuary 27, 2014, 16:31
Amid growing public anxiety over hazardous airborne particles, South Korea plans to develop more accurate fine dust forecast system in collaboration with China, the environment minister said Thursday. 

Most of the pollutants originate from China and Mongolia, experts say.

In an interview, Minister of Environment Yoon Seong-kyu said: “We’re going to make a fine dust forecasting model in cooperation with China,” adding that China is ahead of South Korea and Japan in the field of weather forecast.

“As far as fine particle forecast is concerned, China is also at an early stage. Beijing is much interested in it and has responded favorably to the idea of cooperating with Seoul to develop a forecasting model,” Yoon said.

Asked about poor accuracy of fine dust forecasts in the country, the minister said: “(The ministry) launched a nationwide fine dust forecasting service earlier this year. It’s in its infancy. We'll do our utmost to improve the accuracy of forecasts.”

Critics say that the accuracy rate has averaged only 33.3 percent in recent days.

For days, the nation has been plagued by a blanket of fine dust, with Seoul and surrounding Gyeonggi Province being hit the hardest.

Earlier this week, choking smog also hit Beijing and other parts of China, including Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong, Henan, Shaanxi and Liaoning.
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