Conflict & Justice

South Korea cracks down on beef protests

Riot police ensured protesters came nowhere near the American Embassy or government buildings last night. There were several hundred protesters in downtown Seoul, in a scene quite different from the 1,800-plus demonstrators that were here this weekend. Hundreds were reported injured during the riots, which forced the government to take a tougher stance. The government has raided two civil society groups who have been rumored to have encouraged the protests, but this action has only enflamed emotions. This protester says the revised beef deal says the deal didn't go far enough and their complaints have a lot to do with the bilateral free trade agreement with the US, which many oppose. Both Seoul and Washington say the protests will not persuade them to renegotiate the trade deal. Meanwhile, some US beef was carried in Seoul today, but it's unlikely that restaurants and grocery stores are reluctant to sell US beef.

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