SKorea:Tensions mount over US beef deal

June 11, 2008

Police place South Korean flags on cargo containers that hold sand to form a barricade to block a protest march on a street leading to the U.S. embassy and the presidential Blue House in central Seoul June 10, 2008. The containers were welded together and on to the road. About one million people fearing infection of mad cow disease across the country demonstrated to demand full-scale renegotiation of a beef deal with the U.S. and the resignation of President Lee Myung-bak. Yesterday the entire cabinet offered to resign because of mounting public protests against the resumption of U.S. beef imports.

South Korea was the third-biggest buyer of U.S. beef before imposing a ban in December 2003 on concerns about the brain- wasting disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Scientists say BSE is spread in cattle by tainted animal feed. Eating contaminated meat from infected animals can cause a fatal human variant that has been blamed for the deaths of 151 people in the U.K., where it was first reported in the 1980s.

(Xinhua/Reuters Photo),


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