Resumption of U.S. beef trade with South Korea will be further delayed as the Korean government wants more time to review reports from visits to U.S. beef processing plants. Sanitary and phytosanitary standards were scheduled to be posted Monday or Tuesday, but now further scrutiny of the recent visits to 31 beef plants by nine inspectors will keep that from happening.
The popularity of South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak has plummeted to 20% only months after winning the presidency by the largest margin in the history of South Korea. Protest rallies have been held in recent weeks in an attempt to prevent the beef trade deal that was reached last month from beginning. President Lee In a nationally televised statement Thursday apologized for failing to alleviate concerns about BSE. He said the government has not made enough effort to seek understanding and listen to public opinion.