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South Korea, Bowing to U.S. Pressure, Eases Import Curbs

February 17, 1988|Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea — The government, responding to pressure from the United States, announced that it will lift restrictions on 145 imported products and make other moves to open its markets.

The import restrictions were being abandoned three months ahead of schedule as the government promised to further relax the country's import policies.

Government officials said restrictions on the goods, mostly manufactured products, will be lifted April 1. But officials of the Economic Planning Board said restrictions would remain on about 20 farm products.

The government also plans to gradually lower tariffs on more than 400 items, including chemical pulp, cold rolled steel sheets, passenger cars and insecticide, officials said.

The United States has been pressuring Seoul for fewer import restrictions. Scattered demonstrations have taken place in recent weeks to protest Washington's effort to get South Korea to open its markets to American beef, cigarettes and other products and services.

About 200 students threw rocks and firebombs at 300 riot police outside Yonsei University here Tuesday and chanted "how come massacre leader Roh Tae-woo is becoming president?".

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