SEOUL – The South Korean government said Wednesday that it will resume imports of U.S. beef this week.

South Korea and the United States agreed last week to limit beef imports to younger cattle. The agreement modifies an April deal that had few restrictions on the beef imported into South Korea and was the cause of more than a month of massive protests in the country over concerns of mad cow disease.

Cattle younger than 30 months old is thought to be less susceptible to mad cow disease.

Activists in South Korea are still planning to protest against South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in an effort for a complete renegotiation of the deal. The government has reportedly rejected a full redo of the deal, saying it would hurt the country’s credibility.

"The observation of an agreement is very important for state-to-state relations and it is very essential to maintain national credibility on the international stage," Prime Minister Han Seung-soo said at a meeting with top ruling party leaders Wednesday, according to his office.

The South Korean Agriculture Ministry has asked that a legal notice about imports, the final step before imports can restart, be published by the Public Administration Ministry on Thursday.


Source: Associated Press