SEOULSouth Korea’s trade minister left Friday for the United States to seek measures limiting U.S. beef shipments and defuse a major political crisis at home.

South Korean Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon was reportedly scheduled to meet U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab to discuss measures where the exporters would voluntarily agree not to ship meat from cattle older than 30 months.

Reports said that protesters in South Korea, who have objected to the deal because of mad cow disease fears, have vowed to keep protests going until there is a complete renegotiation of the deal. The Asian nation has been rocked by marches by the public and boycotts by opposition parties since the deal was made in April.

South Korea was the third largest market for American beef before mad cow disease was found in Washington state in 2003. Since then, the country has banned imports or strictly limited what entered the country.

Both South Korea and the United States have reportedly said that they do not plan to renegotiate the deal.


Source: Associated Press