South Korea's prime minister announced Thursday that the government will create a body to establish a "social consensus" on whether to ban the traditional consumption of dog meat.

"We will form a joint private-government consultative body led by civilians and produce a social consensus," Kim Boo-kyum said during a policy coordination meeting in Seoul, according to Yonhap news agency.

"The controversy over dog meat consumption is not new and has persisted for over 30 years since the 1988 Seoul Olympics."

In order not to tarnish the image of the country in the face of hosting those Olympics, in the 1980s the government prohibited the sale of dog meat in the center of Seoul.

Many organizations have since demanded that the government ban its sale and consumption, which has dropped in the last two decades.