SEOULSouth Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak replaced three cabinet ministers on Monday over the U.S. beef deal that has lead to weeks of protests. Much of the cabinet has remained even though they offered to resign in an effort to stop the protests.

Lee chose new agriculture and welfare ministers Monday because of mishandling of the beef deal. The education minister was replaced over alleged financial wrongdoing.

The government said the changes were an attempt at “making a new start” while still keeping most of the cabinet.

Reports were unclear if the changes would have any affect on the protests.

There have been massive daily protests in South Korean cities since an agreement with the United States about importing beef. South Korea banned U.S. beef from late 2003 to June over concerns of mad cow disease.

The original deal would have allowed all beef products into South Korea. The two countries did amend the deal to limit imports to beef from cattle younger than 30 months old, but the change has not reduced the still daily protests.


Source: Associated Press