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U.S. is asked to alter beef import deal

June 03, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

South Korea said it was delaying implementation of a beef import agreement and has asked the U.S. to make a key change to it after large anti-government protests over the weekend by people concerned over mad cow disease.

Agriculture Minister Chung Woon-chun told a news conference today that the government had asked the U.S. to refrain from exporting any beef that comes from cattle aged over 30 months, considered at greater risk of the illness.

South Korea agreed in April to reopen its market to U.S. beef after it was blocked for most of the last 4 1/2 years following the first case of the brain-wasting cattle sickness in the U.S. in late 2003. It delayed the accord Monday, and Chung said quarantine inspections of any U.S. beef will not resume until Seoul receives a response from Washington.

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