will begin negotiations with the United States to resume imports of U.S. beef, according to Agriculture Fisheries Minister Park Hong-soo, though he failed to give a specific timetable for when the talks would begin.
Park spoke with reporters while attending the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Hong Kong, before departing for Seoul, several days earlier than expected. He also said that no additional meetings would be held by the livestock quarantine committee to decide if imports should be resumed.
South Korea banned imports of U.S. beef in December 2003 after the discovery of the first U.S. case of BSE. South Korea has been under increased pressure to resume imports since Japan announced it will accept U.S. beef December 12.