Global Politics

South Korea restricts US beef imports

For the past month, South Koreans have staged almost daily demonstrations, motivated by internet rumors and unsubstantiated claims that schoolchildren would be served unsafe meat and also that Koreans are genetically more susceptible to mad cow than Americans. After the government ended the trade embargo with the US, the demonstrators turned violent. Faced with this public unrest, the government was forced to back out of the agreement with the US. the Agriculture Minister appeared on national television to make the announcement. Washington's Ambassador to South Korea said the US is not interested in renegotiating. Before the embargo began in 2003, South Korea was the third largest consumer of American beef. But the South Korean President has more pressing issues domestically, and he's seen his national perception drop dramatically. He's regarded as ignoring the perceptions of voters. Despite the efforts to limit some imports, demonstrators say they have no plans to stop their protest.

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