Protests over US-S Korea trade deal
JNN 09 Dec 2010 : Thousands of South Korean farmers have protested against a free trade deal with the United States, demanding that the government scrap the agreement.
Some 2,000 farmers wearing red headbands staged a rally against Seoul and Washington’s Free Trade Agreement on Wednesday.
The protestors burned a rice sack and chanted anti-US slogans at the rally in Seoul.
South Korean farmers have expressed fear that the deal would harm agricultural producers as well as cattle raisers in the country.
The angry protestors called on the South Korean government to abolish the deal and send surplus rice to North Korea to help increase the price of rice.
“We have suffered from the low price of rice since last summer. The government should solve the problem and abolish the FTA (Free Trade Agreement) they agreed with this time (with the US),” Reuters quoted Lim Bong-jae, a protest leader, as saying.
Following a three-year impasse, Seoul and Washington reached a tentative free-trade agreement early in December.
If ratified by US Congress and the South Korean Parliament, the agreement would eliminate tariffs on over 95 percent of industrial and consumer goods within five years.