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“No Gov’t Imports Harmful Meat”: Lee

Posted May. 09, 2008 08:36,   


President Lee Myung-bak said yesterday, “Senior government officials have been well trained while dealing with recent challenges. If they are replaced with new faces, the newly hired will also need more time to experience.” The president made such a remark since some experts have demanded Cabinet reshuffling, arguing the government has shown problems dealing with the U.S. beef import resumption.

During a luncheon with reporters, Lee said that people get stronger while passing through difficulties, which he had already experienced while working as a CEO.

Regarding his promise to immediately stop beef imports if U.S. beef turns to threaten public health, he stressed, “There is no government that imports harmful meat to feed the people. Will the United States force Koreans to eat, or will the people eat the meat if U.S. beef turns out to be harmful? I keep my promises. You don’t need to be concerned at all.”

He explained, “The option is up to those who buy products. If U.S. beef is harmful, Koreans will not eat, which, in turn, discourage importers from buying.” He also added, “It is natural that the government halts import if what we buy from overseas and eat harms its people.”

In response to the opposition parties’ demand to postpone the notification of the agreement slated for May 15, a senior presidential official confirmed that the government would not change its plan, saying, “It cannot be handled that way. We can postpone the notification if we decide to renegotiate. But, mutual trust is at stake.”