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Moon urges legal support for government's fight against fine dust

TUE 2019 03 DEC 11:43:AM (GMT: TUE 2019 03 DEC 02:43:AM)

SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in called on the National Assembly Tuesday to support the government's all-out efforts to reduce fine dust air pollution in South Korea with relevant legislation.

Speaking at a weekly Cabinet meeting, he pointed out the introduction of a "seasonal fine dust management system" mainly in Seoul and nearby metropolitan areas.

Effective on Dec. 1 and slated to last through March next year, preliminary measures include restricting high-emission cars, mostly aged diesel-fueled ones, from running on the roads of downtown Seoul. Vehicles with odd- and even-numbered license plates are required to drive on alternate days at public agencies.

"It is the first special measure to be implemented to curb high-density fine dust," Moon said at the outset of the session, which pool reporters were allowed to cover.

President Moon Jae-in speaks during a Cabinet meeting held at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Dec. 3, 2019. (Yonhap)

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, Gyeonggi Governor Lee Jae-myung and Incheon Mayor Park Nam-chun joined the Cheong Wa Dae meeting. The president has emphasized the importance of teamwork among central and local governments in dealing with the fine dust problem, which has plagued South Korea especially in winter and spring.

Seoul mayor has long attended Cabinet meetings but it's the first time for Gyeonggi governor and Incheon mayor to be present at the session.

"Our government has begun to manage fine dust as a national agenda, including putting fine dust (issue) into (the category) of social disaster," Moon said.

It has enacted a special law on fine dust, established by the National Council on Climate and Air Quality and sharply raised related budgets, while strengthening environmental cooperation with China, he added.

He noted that a revision bill to the special law on fine dust is still pending at the National Assembly.

In order for the stable implementation of the government's various administrative measures, legal support is necessary, Moon said.

"I expect an early revision to the special law on fine dust," he added.