July 7, 2008


Beef row causes replacement of three top ministers in South Korea


South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak will replace three ministers later Monday (July 7, 2008) after mass protests against US beef imports rocked the capital in recent weeks.


Lee will replace the agriculture, welfare and education ministers, a top presidential aide was quoted by Yonhap news agency as saying.


The presidential Blue House said it could not confirm the report.


Lee's entire Cabinet and top aides offered their resignations last month to take responsibility for the furor. The president, who took office Feb. 25, replaced almost all his top aides last month.


The aide told Yonhap the partial Cabinet reshuffle would be announced at a press briefing Monday afternoon.


The government's decision in April to allow unbridled US beef imports sparked weeks of mass street protests over the supposed dangers of mad cow disease.


A previous agreement only allowed for boneless beef imports from cattle below 30 months old.

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