Korea to Open Borders to US on June 3

US - South Korea’s agriculture minister, Chung Woon Chun, told a Korean television audience that the market for U.S. beef will officially open next week, probably on Tuesday, June 3.
calendar icon 2 June 2008
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The minister sent a request to the Ministry of Administration to print the final protocol today and this process usually takes two to three days. The date that this announcement is printed will be the implementation date of the protocol – the date U.S. cattle can be slaughtered for export to Korea.

Opponents of U.S. beef, including the main opposition parties and the Korean Federation of Trade Unions, have vowed to take “every possible measure” as they continue their campaign to derail the agreement. More than 7,000 people took part in the latest vigil after the minister’s announcement, and the leader of the United Democratic Party told a Korean news agency: "If the government and the ruling party ignore this warning, we will be forced to come up with a critical decision."

“We look forward to supplying high-quality, wholesome U.S. beef to South Korea,” said USMEF President & CEO Philip Seng, “but this is a volatile situation that changes day by day. We are monitoring events in Korea very closely. We were the preferred supplier of beef for Korean cuisine. Our exports are complementary to the South Korean domestic industry. We understand the products and specifications needed.”

After reaching agreement with the United States in principle on May 15, South Korea sent inspection teams to audit U.S. beef plants on the list of plants approved to export beef to Korea prior to the suspension of trade.

“The U.S. industry wants to win back the trust of South Korean consumers,” said Seng. “U.S. beef exports are accepted by Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Mexico and the European Union. We trust that the facts and sound science will win over Korean public opinion. U.S. beef is safe.”

Further Reading

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