SEOUL – A U.S. trade official said Friday that U.S. beef is safe and rejected calls to renegotiate a deal that allowed beef imports to South Korea to resume.


The Associated Press reported that U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Guiterrez, speaking at a news conference in Seoul, said that every country has a right to ensure the safety of its citizens, but American beef was safe and he didn't see a reason for the beef agreement to be re-negotiated.


The South Korean government has been resisting protests from the public and opposition lawmakers concerned about mad cow disease since the beef trade deal was made in April. Because of the protests, the government has delayed issuing a government notice on the resumption, a measure required to restart imports, according to the news service.


Guiterrez called the delay "unfortunate" and said both the U.S. and South Korea should stick to their agreement, the AP reported.