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S. Korean Cabinet Offers to Resign Over US Beef Imports

Cabinet offers resignation as 1m prepare to march
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2008 6:08 AM CDT
S. Korean Cabinet Offers to Resign Over US Beef Imports
South Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-soo bows to the nation with other ministers at the Government House in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, June 10, 2008. South Korea's entire Cabinet has offered to resign following the public uproar over the planned resumption of U.S. beef imports.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – The entire South Korean government has offered to resign in the face of a popular protest triggered by the lifting of import restrictions on US beef. The Korean government withdrew a ban introduced to prevent mad cow disease, setting off demonstrations expected to bring a million people onto the streets today. The original agricultural dispute has expanded into a wider movement against Lee Myung-bak, the former construction executive elected president 4 months ago.

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Lee lifted the ban in April to win support from American lawmakers for a wider free-trade accord, Bloomberg reports, prompting charges that he is insensitive to public health concerns. "What started off as non-political protests against US beef have evolved into violent outbursts against Lee's overall leadership style,'' said a political analyst. "People are unhappy with his style of a corporate chief executive dealing with the beef issue as just another business project.'' (Read more South Korea stories.)

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