Thousands protest in S.Korea against U.S. beef imports

Tuesday, June 10th 2008, 3:36 pm
By: News 9

Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea -- About 80,000 people have gathered in South Korea's capital, waving candles and protesting the plan for U.S. beef imports to resume.

The entire Cabinet has offered to resign in the uproar over the policy.

Police blocked roads with shipping containers to prevent the crowd from marching to the nearby presidential Blue House. Officials say about 21,000 riot police were deployed to keep order.

Earlier, thousands of conservative activists supporting the deal protested near the site of the anti-U.S.-beef rally.

The government agreed in April to lift almost all restrictions that had been imposed on imports of U.S. beef over fears of mad cow disease. Protesters are demanding that the government scrap or renegotiate the beef deal because of perceptions that it doesn't do enough to protect citizens.