News / USA

South Korean Lawmakers Approve Korea-US Trade Deal

National Assembly Vice Speaker Chung Eui-hwa, second from left top, wearing glasses, declares the passage of a bill on ratification of a South Korea-U.S. free trade agreement as opposition lawmakers try to stop it at the National Assembly in Seoul, South
National Assembly Vice Speaker Chung Eui-hwa, second from left top, wearing glasses, declares the passage of a bill on ratification of a South Korea-U.S. free trade agreement as opposition lawmakers try to stop it at the National Assembly in Seoul, South

South Korean lawmakers have ratified a free trade deal with the United States.  The bill had been held up by opposition lawmakers but passed after the ruling party called a surprise session in the National Assembly.  Observers now warn of political consequences for President Lee Myung-bak's party.

During a surprise session on Tuesday in South Korea’s National Assembly, members of the ruling party called for a vote on the KORUS-FTA.  Only a handful of opposition lawmakers were present at the time. The trade pact passed with a clear majority.

The KORUS FTA had been awaiting ratification since 2007 and was partially re-negotiated last year.  In October, the U.S. Congress passed the bill, but South Korea’s opposition parties refused to back the deal and activist groups held dozens of protests against it.

Nam Hee-sob is a committee chairman at the Korean Alliance Against the KORUS FTA.  He says he is ashamed how the ruling party rammed the bill through.  

Nam says he did not expect the ruling lawmakers to pass the trade deal in such an undemocratic way. He says President Lee Myung-bak had offered to renegotiate parts of the bill and that it was still on the table when his party passed it without any agreement with the opposition.

Nam says he also does not agree with the way some opponents tried to block the vote on the bill.  One member of the Democratic Party detonated a tear gas canister, which temporarily cleared the National Assembly floor.

The KORUS FTA is expected to come into effect in January and boost bilateral trade by tens of billions of dollars.

But even though the deal has been ratified, Nam says the fight is not over yet.

He says his group will campaign against every lawmaker from the ruling party who voted for the FTA in next April’s parliamentary elections.

And Nam says the same goes for South Korea’s 2012 presidentialeElection. Nam says he will support a candidate that, once elected, will overturn the KORUS FTA.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid