South Korea seeks talks with U.S. on beef row

SOUTH KOREA - South Korea has sought talks with the United States to discuss its recent rejection of U.S. beef shipments, a South Korean government official said on Thursday.
calendar icon 19 January 2007
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The row over U.S. beef imports has emerged as one of the major hurdles in free trade talks between the two countries in Seoul this week.

"We are seeking talks with the U.S. as a way toward resolving the beef row between the two countries," said an official at South Korea's agriculture ministry who declined to be named.

South Korea, which suspended imports after a mad cow outbreak in the United States in 2003, struck a deal last year to resume imports but has rejected several tonnes of U.S. beef in the past few months after finding bone fragments as small as coffee beans.

"South Korea is ready to talk regarding the inspection procedure and technical issues," the agriculture ministry official said.

South Korea had been the third-largest market for U.S. beef until it banned the imports.

Source: Reuters
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