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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More