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S. Korea, U.S. fail to narrow gap on 5t rice trade talks
Asia Pulse, October 1, 2004
South Korea ended a fifth round of rice talks with the United States Thursday in San Francisco without resolving differences about a wider opening of the domestic rice market, the Foreign Ministry said Friday.

The United States wants South Korea to increase its quota of rice imports and allow the imported rice to be sold to individual consumers, but South Korea remains opposed to the request.

Both sides only agreed to continue the talks, the ministry said.

Ambassador Lee Jae-gil, Seoul's top diplomat for the Doha Development Agenda negotiations, led a South Korean delegation comprising government officials and a university professor, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, South Korea will have additional talks on the rice trade with Thailand and China this month.

The government has tried to resolve the issue with the U.S., China, Thailand, and other rice-exporting countries.

South Korea hopes to retain the import quota system after 2004, but rice-exporting countries are calling on Seoul to increase the annual quota or change to a tariff system.
MGR Archive 3.10.2004
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