The government said Friday it will designate a non-smoking zone for the country's national parks starting in 2013 as part of efforts to protect the environment and promote public health.
Currently, smoking is allowed in several spots within the national parks, including restrooms, parking lots and snack bars.
According to the Korea National Park Service, smoking will be completely banned in national parks starting next year, and violators will face a fine of 100,000 won ($88.9).
"We plan to launch 'smoking-zero' campaigns in major parts of the national parks across the country," an official of the agency said. "Voluntary and active cooperation by the public is needed to allow everyone to enjoy fresh air and the beauty of nature."
A total of 20 mountains in the country have been designated as national parks since 1967, covering 3.7 percent of the country's territory, according to government data. (Yonhap)