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SKorea Parliament Ends US Beef Deadlock

20 August 2008

SOUTH KOREA - Rival South Korean political parties on Tuesday ended a legislative deadlock allowing the formation of an assembly when they agreed to revise a law on regulating contentious beef imports.

According to ChannelNewsAsia, the breakthrough that ended the stalemate meant parties can now form standing committees in the National Assembly.

The news agency reports that President Lee Myung-Bak's Grand National Party (GNP) will head 11 committees while opposition parties will control seven, party officials said.

South Korea was hit by months of sometimes violent street protests against the supposed dangers of mad cow disease after Seoul decided in April to resume full US beef imports, aiming to pave the way for a wider free trade pact.

The rallies largely subsided only after Seoul secured extra health safeguards from US exporters, who agreed not to send meat from cattle older than 30 months which are seen as more at risk of the disease.

The GNP won an overall majority in the April election, but the new parliament only convened in early July after opposition legislators ended a six-week boycott in protest at the resumed US beef imports.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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