Seoul Back-Tracking on U.S. Beef Imports

SOUTH KOREA - The South Korean government on Monday delayed publication of a government gazette carrying the promulgation of sanitary conditions for the resumption of U.S. beef imports.
calendar icon 3 June 2008
clock icon 1 minute read

"We've asked the Ministry of Public Administration and Security to postpone the publication of the sanitary conditions for U.S. beef imports in the government gazette," which was slated for Tuesday, the Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry said.

That puts off the resumption of U.S. beef imports, which had been expected to take effect the moment the ministerial promulgation is published, amid massive daily demonstrations against reopening the Korean market.

An unnamed government official said once the ministerial promulgation is published in the government gazette, “there's nothing we can do about it later." That suggests the government was worried that the anti-U.S. beef protests could reach uncontrollable proportions if U.S. beef is sold on the market and anxiety about mad cow disease mounts. Moreover, once the new import procedures take effect, the government will find it even more difficult to try and hold additional negotiations with the U.S. In other words, delaying the publication was a way to buy time to figure out a solution.

In an informal meeting at Cheong Wa Dae recently, government officials reportedly raised the issue of pushing for additional negotiations with the U.S. to quiet the mad cow disease panic and take public opinion into consideration. In the meeting, one Foreign Ministry official reportedly opposed the suggestion for the sake of Korea-U.S. trade relations and international diplomacy.

TheCattleSite News Desk

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.