S.Korean farmers strongly oppose FTA revision negotiations with U.S.

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-10 16:59:05|Editor: Zhou Xin
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SEOUL, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- South Korean farmers on Friday expressed strong opposition to negotiations with the United States to revise the South Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), demanding the annulment of the trade deal.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a press release that it held a public hearing earlier in the day to collect public opinions on the negotiations to amend the KORUS FTA as part of the domestic process on trade pact.

The hearing, however, was stopped as farmers entered the hearing venue to protest against the revision negotiations, occupying rostrums and shouting for the annulment of the bilateral FTA.

They hurled eggs and shoes, as well as insults, toward government officials. The farmers tussled with security men, demanding the stop of the public hearing, according to local media reports.

Farmers held a separate press conference outside the venue, saying the KORUS FTA, which came into force in 2012, should be immediately scrapped.

The trade ministry said it planned to hold a meeting with farmers as early as possible to collect opinions from the farming industry.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed earlier in the week with visiting U.S. President Donald Trump to rapidly push the launch of negotiations to amend the bilateral free trade pact.

Trump said in Seoul Tuesday that the KORUS FTA was not very good for the United States, but he noted that the U.S. deficit in goods trade with South Korea can be reduced as Seoul would purchase the U.S. military equipment.

The U.S. leader told a press conference with President Moon that South Korea would buy billions of U.S. dollars of the U.S. weapons, some of which were already approved.