SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s rapidly worsening air pollution has forced the country’s professional baseball league to postpone three games.
The Korea Baseball Organization on Friday postponed the games in capital Seoul and the nearby cities of Suwon and Incheon after the government issued alerts over high fine dust levels in the metropolitan area.
It’s the first time the league postponed games because of air pollution since the country began pro baseball in 1982. A KBO official said the games will be rescheduled later in the season. She didn’t want to be named, citing office rules.
As of 5:30 p.m. Friday, the fine dust concentration level was measured at 377 micrograms per cubic meter near Seoul’s Jamsil Stadium, where the Doosan Bears had been scheduled to host the NC Dinos before the game was postponed.
South Korea issues an advisory when the fine dust level reaches 150 micrograms per cubic meter and a warning if the level exceeds 300 micrograms per cubic meter.
South Korea in recent years has been experiencing an acute rise in air pollution that experts link to emission from the country’s increasing number of cars and also to China’s massive industrial activity.
In a meeting with top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi last week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said China was partially responsible for South Korea’s pollution problem and called for Beijing’s cooperation in Seoul’s efforts to improve air quality.