Go to contents

Pres. Lee to Announce Measures on Beef Imports

Posted June. 03, 2008 03:36,   


President Lee Myung-bak said yesterday that he will suggest measures to deal with the public outcry over U.S. beef imports.

The president held a regular meeting yesterday morning with ruling Grand National Party Chairman Kang Jae-sup, who asked him to ease the public’s anger. Accordingly, a Cabinet reshuffle is expected after by-elections are held Wednesday.

President Lee will also hold a public forum as early as Thursday or as late as Monday next week.

Kang said, “Given that several political mistakes were made, the government needs to reshuffle the Cabinet to soothe public anger.”

On the return of former party members loyal to former chairwoman Park Geun-hye, Kang said, “Under the principle of opening the door as wide as possible, those who did not get a party nomination (for the April general elections) but were elected as independents should be allowed to return immediately unless they have been disqualified.”

President Lee welcomed the idea, saying, “I hope the party will come up with detailed measures.”

The chief executive also asked Kang to open the 18th National Assembly as soon as possible to deal with pending issues such as the ratification of the free trade agreement with the United States and surging oil prices.

The government is also considering the ruling party’s request to delay the public announcement of the beef import agreement in the official government gazette. The publication was requested by Agriculture Minister Chung Woon-chun.

U.S. beef inspections will resume soon after they were suspended in October last year.

According to party spokeswoman Cho Yoon-sun, the party’s chief policy-maker Lim Tae-hee asked the Agriculture Ministry to delay publication of the announcement. At the general meeting of the party’s lawmakers, most backed a renegotiation of beef imports.

Former party chairwoman Park also pressed the government to renegotiate U.S. beef imports, saying, “The government should follow the will of the people and prevent disasters from further occurring.”