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Free trade hits wall in South Korea

Signs of opposition to South Korea’s free trade agreement with the U.S. have been mounting for months. Threat by opposition party politicians to fight physically to stop a parliamentary vote on the South Korea’s free trade agreement with the U.S.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The threat by opposition party politicians to fight physically to stop a parliamentary vote on the South Korea’s free trade agreement with the U.S. appears to be working for the moment.

South Korea’s National Assembly is known worldwide for occasionally breaking into fighting and minor violence in the consideration of lawmaking.

And when leaders of the ruling party signaled that they expected to vote Thursday afternoon on ratifying Korea’s free trade agreement with the U.S., it appeared likely that fisticuffs were in the offing.

The signs have been building for months — and they were evident all around the National Assembly building Thursday afternoon. Dozens of police buses lined the perimeter of the Assembly’s sprawling campus and hundreds of police officers were dispatched to keep protesters away. Inside the building itself, reporters formed two small camps, one outside the main assembly hall and another outside a committee hearing room where, on Wednesday, opposition party makers physically blocked discussion of the trade pact.

Opinion polls show about 58% support for the FTA. But it’s become a political hot potato and it’s not hard to see why.

For more, see: The FTA Vote (and Fight) Stalls For Now

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