South Korean Delegates Head to US to Discuss Beef Deal

SOUTH KOREA - South Korea's ruling party on Monday sent a delegation to Washington to discuss changes to a US beef import deal which has sparked mass protests over food safety concerns.
calendar icon 9 June 2008
clock icon 1 minute read
The ruling Grand National Party said a five-strong team, including four lawmakers, would meet trade officials, senior legislators and business leaders in Washington until Friday.

Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to Seoul streets almost daily in recent weeks, claiming the deal lacks enough safeguards against the supposed dangers of mad cow disease.

They have demanded President Lee Myung-Bak renegotiate the agreement to resume the beef imports, which were suspended in 2003 over mad cow fears, or step down.

Lee is reportedly considering reshuffling his cabinet in a bid to end the worst political crisis he has faced since taking office in February.

"There should be restraint in the imports of cattle more than 30 months old," GNP chairman Kang Jae-Sup told the team before its departure, stressing Seoul's recently modified stance.

Source: AFP
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