SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Yonhap) -- The Seoul municipal government said Tuesday it will boost cooperation with China as part of efforts to improve air quality worsening due in large part to dusts from the neighboring country.
Concerns have risen over increasingly severe air pollution as South Korean capital city and the surrounding areas have experienced higher levels of ultrafine dusts in recent weeks, prompting the government to issue several rounds of advisories to urge people to stay indoors.
Earlier this month, the city's atmospheric concentration levels of "particulate matter (PM) 2.5" pollutants stood at around 95 micrograms per cubic meter for more than two hours, higher than the 85 micrograms per cubic meter threshold.
China, at that time, saw the dust level exceed 500 micrograms in some major cities.
In accordance, the Seoul government announced a set of comprehensive measures Tuesday with a goal to improve the city's air quality within a decade to levels seen in advanced economies.
Given that high-density fine dust was found to be created in China and moved westward toward the Korean Peninsula, the municipal government said it will push to form an international committee on the issue with the neighbor, its officials said.
Seoul will sign a memorandum of understanding next month to boost cooperation for cleaner air, and it plans to expand such joint efforts with major Chinese cities such as Shanghai and Qingdao, according to the officials.
In a move to reduce emissions, the city vowed to strengthen crackdown on vehicles without required gadgets for less discharges and on restaurants and saunas that use firepower for their businesses.
While implementing more monitoring facilities to better manage the pollution-emitting entities, the city also plans to launch campaigns to raise public awareness, according to its officials.
"We will strive to ease public concerns over the environmental issue by actively pushing for international cooperation and devising diverse countermeasures," said city official Kim Yong-bok.