S. Korea, U.S. to hold talks on beef imports next year

SOUTH KOREA - South Korea and the United States will likely hold talks early next year to discuss the recent rejections of U.S. beef shipments, South Korean officials said Sunday.
calendar icon 1 January 2007
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The meeting called a "technical consultation" is likely to be held on Jan. 8-9 here before the two sides hold a sixth round of talks on a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) from Jan. 15, they said.

"Technical problems have surfaced since the two sides agreed on quarantine conditions in January, so experts will try to find a way to resolve the problem during the talks," an agriculture ministry officials said, asking to remain anonymous.

During the planned meeting, the U.S. is expected to request that South Korea import "bone-in" beef, depending on the size of the bones.

But agriculture ministry officials said the request will not be accepted given the prevailing public sentiment against U.S. beef with bone fragments discovered in the shipments so far.

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