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Beef ban to end

Seoul, August 24, 2007

South Korea said it would end its effective ban on US beef imports, once worth about $850 million annually, which should ease tensions in a trade dispute.

South Korea, which was the third-largest overseas market for US beef, effectively blocked US imports in early August by suspending quarantine inspections after finding a prohibited spinal column in a beef shipment. 

The decision to resume imports came after South Korea received assurances from the US on safety inspections.

'We have decided to resume quarantine inspections as of Aug. 27 as Washington ensured the safety of beef and promised to tighten its export procedures,' Lee Sang-kil, head of the agriculture ministry's livestock bureau, said.   

A total of 6,800 tonnes of beef sitting in South Korea's warehouses will reach store shelves again after an inspection, the ministry said.  Reuters




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