President Moon Jae-in received an emergency briefing from Minister of Environment Cho Myung-rae on fine dust countermeasures for 50 minutes from 6:00 pm today. The President was briefed upon the return to his office at Cheong Wa Dae after attending the commencement ceremony of the Republic of Korea Naval Academy.
Minister Cho explained that the Government would take every measure possible within its power to reduce fine dust. He informed the President that his Ministry would monitor implementation of such measures as a driving ban to reduce the number of cars on the streets, limits on coal-fired power generation and adjustments to the operating hours of facilities that emit fine dust. He added that emergency measures available immediately would be taken as well, such as increasing the operation of sprinkler trucks.
In reply, President Moon said, "When public calls for countermeasures rise explosively, the Government has to take immediate steps to meet their demands, rather than just sticking to long-term measures. In an emergency, the Government's duty is to take emergency measures."
The President further requested, "As countermeasures against fine dust cannot be addressed by the Ministry of Environment alone, I urge you to actively utilize my authority and that of the Prime Minister to elicit cooperation from all government ministries and agencies.”
“Air purifiers are being installed at daycare centers, kindergartens and schools, but their capacity is often too small, and they are of little or no use in many places,” President Moon emphasized. “We need to work out possible measures to subsidize purchases so that installation of large-capacity air purifiers can be expedited. Children should be able to feel secure when they are indoors at least.”