The strife caused by opponents in South Korea to resumption of beef trade with the United States has resulted in riots and demonstrations that may have destabilized the government. But wire services report this morning that the country's president Lee Myung-bak is set to apologize over his handling of the issue. It would be his second apology in less than a month over the issue.
Korean negotiators are again talking with U.S. officials to place restrictions on U.S. beef to ease the country's fears that the April 18 deal would expose consumers to a greater risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The country is seeking to import beef only from cattle less than 30 months old. The April pact originally carried no such provisions.
Talks are scheduled this week in Washington on the issue. The beef dispute has ballooned into the largest crisis for President Lee, who came to office only four months ago.