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South Korean farmers protest against free trade with China

NTDTV | 2010-09-29

South Korean farmers protest against free trade with China

South Korean farmers protest against a free trade deal with China and falling rice prices Wednesday. Chanting slogans, shaving their heads and painting banners using their own blood, more than 10,000 farmers gathered in downtown Seoul for the biggest rally by the farmers this year.

[Kang Woo-hyun, Chairman, Korean Advanced Farmers Fed.]: "The government should not fully implement the free trade deal with China. It should think about farmers. If the government has to go ahead with talks with China, the deal must satisfy the farmers.”

The angry farmers also called on the government to come up with policies for them as the global rice price continues to drop because of over-supply.

Some of the farmers used their own blood to write a message reading "Stabilize the rice price". Others had their hair shaved to show their anger over what they call insufficient action by the Lee Myung-bak administration to keep growers afloat.

In 2009, South Korea and China agreed to consider a free trade deal and the two neighbors expect bilateral trade to double by 2013.

The two parties began a preliminary meeting yesterday in Beijing on free trade.

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South Korean farmers wearing mourning clothes and masks hold illustrations of their crops and poultry during a rally against the South Korea-China free trade agreement (FTA) talks at a park near the National Assembly in Seoul September 29, 2010. Thousands of farmers gathered to denounce the government’s FTA plan with China. (Reuters)
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A South Korean farmer wearing a rice sack gestures during a rally against the South Korea-China free trade agreement (FTA) talks at a park near the National Assembly in Seoul September 29, 2010. Thousands of rice farmers gathered to denounce the government’s FTA plan with China. The characters on the headband read, "Protect (farmer’s) right to live". (Reuters)
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South Korean farmers have their heads shaven to show determination during a rally against Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between South Korea and China near the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010. Korea and China will hold preliminary talks on a free trade agreement between the two countries in Beijing. The letters read " Guarantee the rice price". (Reuters)
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South Korean farmers with a "Stop FTA between South Korea and China!" sign, 29 September 2010 (Reuters)

 source: NTDTV