Air pollution  Environment ministers from South Korea, China and Japan on Friday agreed to disclose the upcoming result of a joint study on fine dust pollution which poses increasing health and environmental problems to the region.

After a two-day meeting in Suwon, on the outskirts of Seoul, the officials issued a joint statement promising to step up concerted efforts to tackle air pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss.

“We agreed to fully disclose the outcome of the joint research on particle matters among Korea, Japan and China in the future, an issue on which the three countries had failed to agree. This is a very significant step forward,” South Korean Environment Minister Kim Eun-kyung told reporters after a trilateral meeting with China’s Li Ganjie and Japan’s Masaharu Nakagawa.

The three Northeast Asian powers began joint research into cross-border atmospheric pollutants in 2013 on Korea’s proposal. They are supposed to publish the report by the end of this year.

Kim said the three countries also agreed to push for joint research to achieve internal goals of sustainable development.

The ministers used the session to outline their key policies and discuss pending issues including particle matters, carbon emissions and harmful chemicals, according to her ministry.

At the news conference Chinese Minister Li promised the country will improve the control of air pollutants and seek cooperation from South Korea and Japan which possess advanced environmental technologies.

Japanese Minister Nakagawa hailed their commitment to increased cooperation and information sharing, which would enhance technology and policy capabilities to handle environmental problems.  (Yonhap)