(Yicai Global) April 7 -- Seoul has been swaddled in smog in recent days, causing public anxiety in the country, with some pointing the finger of blame at China.
A lawyer surnamed Choi, chairman of the ‘Green Korea Fund’ -- known as for its environmental activism -- sued the Beijing and Seoul governments on April 5 at Seoul Central District Court, seeking compensation for the psychological harm caused by the pollution, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported.
He filed the complaint jointly with another five plaintiffs. It said, "As a member of the international community, China is responsible for holding pollutants in an acceptable level," though South Korea has failed to determine the source of the pollution. "The lawsuit aims to find the pollution source. South Korea and China should make joint efforts to lead Asia to a new era." They are demanding USD2,600 (KRW3 million) in compensation from the Beijing and Seoul governments.
Some Korean media habitually think of China as the source of South Korea’s pollutants. South Korea's worsening air quality and particulate pollution in recent years is believed to come mainly from China's western desert region, but there is also local smog in addition." Yonhap said on April 5.
A few days ago, several Korean media outlets reported out of context the news that "study says China’s smog has caused more than 30,000 premature deaths in South Korea and Japan." Even after the report’s author, Zhang Qiang, Professor of Earth System Science at Tsinghua University clarified this statement to the Global Times, several Korean media outlets still feature this misleading report.