The nine-ton shipment of beef that arrived in South Korea on a Monday morning flight marked the first U.S. beef to be exported to the country in almost three years.
South Korea banned U.S. beef imports in December 2003 after the U.S. reported a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, often called 'mad cow disease.' In January of 2006, South Korea agreed to allow shipments of boneless U.S. beef from cattle younger than 30 months.
Meat safety measures delayed the actual shipment of U.S. beef to South Korea until September, when South Korea approved the resumption of imports. U.S. beef arriving in South Korea will undergo quarantine inspections before entering the marketplace there.
Before the 2003 ban, South Korea was the third largest foreign market for U.S. beef.