A joint research by South Korea, China, and Japan found that 32% of ultrafine dust in South Korea comes from China. This is the first time that the Chinese government has acknowledged that ultrafine dust in China actually affects South Korea.
The National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) under the South Korean Ministry of Environment held a briefing session on Wednesday and released a summary of the Joint Research Project for Long-range Transboundary Air Pollutants in Northeast Asia. Environmental researchers from South Korea, China, and Japan studied the ultrafine dust emissions in three countries and their impact on one another. They looked at the emission levels in three cities in South Korea (Seoul, Daejeon, and Busan), six cities in China (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Qingdao, Shenyang, and Dalian), and three cities in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka).
The impact of ultrafine dust from China, meanwhile, on South Korea and Japan in the event of high concentrations of ultrafine dust has not been revealed due to opposition from China. Jang Yoon-seok, head of the NIER, said the three countries initially agreed on revealing each country’s annual average contribution to ultrafine dust. China reportedly argued that they only reveal their annual average concentration of ultrafine dust.
When South Korea experienced the worst level of ultrafine dust earlier in January this year, the NIER announced the findings of their study that 69~82% of ultrafine dust in South Korea comes from outside the country, such as China.