SEOUL, March 17 (Yonhap) -- Former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has accepted an offer to chair a national committee that will be set up to discuss ways to tackle fine dust air pollution, the presidential office said Sunday.
Presidential chief of staff Noh Young-min officially extended the offer when he met with Ban on Saturday, and the former U.N. chief agreed to take on the mission, deputy presidential spokesperson Han Jung-woo said in a statement.
Establishment of the envisioned organization was first proposed by Sohn Hak-kyu, chairman of the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party, earlier this month. Sohn also recommended that Ban take charge of the committee that will consist of representatives from the government, the National Assembly and all social classes.
President Moon Jae-in accepted Sohn's proposal and ordered its creation.
Ban was quoted as saying during Saturday's meeting that he was pleased to be given an opportunity to contribute to the country based on his extensive experience dealing with environmental issues, including climate change.
Ban also said that he feels a sense of burden, in that he might not be able to meet the expectations of the South Korean public, as the fine dust problem is an issue that is difficult to resolve in a short period of time. He also said that the proposed organization should include political, industrial, civic and all other sectors of the society.
Ban also called for full-fledged government support for the organization, officials said.