I had a very good discussion as I always do with foreign minister yu myunghwan, he explained to me as the minister of agriculture said earlier today, the publication of the import health requirements is being further delayed. I can‘t deny that we’re disappointed by this. We think the agreement that our two governments reached in april is a good agreement, that it‘s based on international science, that there’s no scientific justification to postpone implementation, so we hope the Korean government will implement the agreement as soon as possible. The minister explained to me the political situation here in korea and he noted that among the concerns raised by the protestors there‘s been a particular focus on beef that is over 30 months in age. We’re a little bit surprised by this because according to the international scientific standards, as reported a year ago by the OIE, US beef over 30 months of age is safe and we believe our food safety system ensures that safety and of course we require that SRM be removed from beef according to our own very strict standards.

So we hope that Koreans will begin to learn more about the science and about the facts of American beef and that this issue can be addressed constructively.

We believe there is a lot of work ahead in getting people to pay more attention to the science and the facts of the matter. But I think that an important step was announced yesterday by five of the leading american beef exporters as an effort to help improve confidence on the part of Korean consumers. They announced yesterday that as a voluntary step, they are going to label all of their beef exports to korea with respect to the age of the beef whether its‘ over 30 or more than 30 months of age. And this way, both importers ands consumers in korea will be able to distinguish beef between over 30 or under 30 and they will have the freedom of choice to decide whether they will buy it or not. So we think that this is a very positive step which we hope will provide a way forward in what we recognize as a very difficult situation.

△ so are you saying u.s. not going to accept request to stop beef over 30 months old?

= I think we’re still trying to fully work out what the minister of agriculture said and I think that what I just described as an initiative by our beef exporters already provides a way forward on this issue. As I said, we don‘t think there is a scientific justification for  changing the agreed basis that we worked out in april, but as I said, the exporters have offered a step forward. Korean importers may want to engage with them in further discussions. I think there is a way forward on this issue if there is goodwill on both sides.

△ has korea asked not to export beef over 30 months old?

= you need to get the authoritative view on what the Koreans have said from the Korean spokesman. This is a very complex issue with very technical aspects to this. There are issues between governments and there are issues that relate purely to exporters and importers.

△ if u.s. accepts request not to import beef over 30 months old, is that a temporary halt in exports or a renegotiation?

= we don’t‘ see any need for renegotiation of the agreement since it’s based on science. It provides a very effective safeguard to ensure the health of Korean consumers and of course we apply the same strict standards to American beef that goes on at the dinner tables in the united states as we do to all of our export markets. And we‘re totally confident that we have the rigorous testing and we have the feed ban that’s been in effect since 1997 which has led to zero case of BSE detected in cows born since 1997. so we think we have a very firm grip on the BSE issue and that‘s the basis of our agreement.

△ it’s clear korea wants to renegotiate but u.s. does not. How do you propose settling this?

= I don‘t think I agree with the premises of that question.

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  1. ileshy  수정/삭제  댓글쓰기

    마지막 대답으로 보면, 결국은 '버' 대사도 한국정부가 재협상하지 않으리라는 것을 믿는것 같군요..
    미국 대사로서는 저런 식의 대답 밖에 하고 싶지 않겠지만, 국민들의 분개가 딱히 비과학적 소문?에 의한 것이라기 보다는 그동안 정부가 사실을 왜곡하려 한것이나 별로 얻을것도 없이 선심쓰듯 협상을 했다는 점 아닌가요? 뭐 여론을 그런식으로 몰고가고 싶다면 그거야 저치 맘이겠지만서도.. 수준이 거밖에 안되나 싶네요..

    2008.06.04 02:47
    • wonkis  수정/삭제

      맞습니다.설마 재협상을..이렇게 생각하는 것 같습니다.그리고 아무래도 한국 내의 다양한 논의나 시민들의 반응을 속속들이 알고 있지는 못하겠죠

      2008.06.04 13:52

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