'Technical' talks over S. Korea-US Beeef row delayed: Official

SOUTH KOREA - Talks between experts to iron out differences on the importing of American beef may be delayed until next week when the sixth round of free trade negotiations between South Korea and the United States is scheduled, a South Korean government official said Monday.
calendar icon 9 January 2007
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"The technical talks that were tentatively set for Monday and today and will not take place because Washington has not sent its negotiators," said Lee Yang-ho, spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
He said Seoul is waiting for word on when the United States will send its negotiators to Seoul, but that the talks could take place late this week or at the same time as the free trade agreement (FTA) talks, which kick off next Monday.

Lee said even if the talks take place next week, Seoul and Washington had already agreed that beef talks should be separated from ones for the FTA.

"The FTA is focused on the reduction or dismantling of tariffs so both sides had agreed earlier to keep beef imports out of the negotiations," he said. The spokesman added that South Korea plans to strictly adhere to the agreement on this matter.

Source: Yahoo Finance
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