The Associated Press reported that Agriculture Minister Chung Woon-chun said that the government had asked the U.S. not to export any beef from cattle more than 30 months of age.
The government had in April agreed to accept U.S. beef of all ages into the South Korean market. Since then, there have been major protests from the public and opposition parties worried about mad cow disease. Over the weekend, 60,000 people marched in the capital in protest.
Chung told the AP quarantine inspections of any U.S. beef will not resume until South Korea receives a response from Washington on the request to avoid exports of older cattle.
In reaction, U.S. beef companies announced Monday that they would label shipments to South Korea noting the age of the cattle, responding to protests in the Asian nation.