More than three months after an initial deal to allow imports of U.S. beef into South Korea was made, the first shipment arrived on Tuesday. The original deal would have opened the Korean market to all U.S. beef, but following widespread protests over concerns about BSE, the South Korean government stopped the deal and asked to renegotiate. Last month a deal was reached that would allow all beef under the age of 30 months from the U.S. into South Korea.
South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak has fired several cabinet members and other officials as a result of the protests of the April agreement for the resumption of U.S. beef imports. U.S. beef was banned nearly five years ago in 2003 when a positive case of BSE was found in the United States.
Although a revised deal was negotiated between Washington and Seoul, many South Koreans are still unhappy about the import of U.S. beef. The initial shipment of a ton and a half of ribs and other bone-in cuts will be in quarantine for 10 days while it is inspected and tested before being sold.