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S.Korea wants some farm goods out of US trade deal
South Korea will try to exclude some farm goods from market-opening concessions in free trade talks with the United States because of their highly sensitive nature domestically, its top negotiator said on Friday.

Negotiations are expected to be tough because of opposition from South Korean farmers who fear for their livelihoods.

"The government plans to exclude highly sensitive items from concessions or ensure their long-term implementation," Kim, who will lead the South Korean delegation to the talks told a news conference. The talks are expected to start formally in May.

"I think the agricultural sector is where some of the highly sensitive items will be, among others."

"No free trade agreement has ever called for 100-percent concessions or market opening," Kim said, adding the United States will probably also present a list of items it considers sensitive, such as automobiles and textiles.

South Korean farmers have said that a free trade pact would destroy their livelihoods and have demanded a compensation package before negotiations with Washington start.

South Koreans took a lead in anti-globalization protests during December's World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Hong Kong, many of them angry at the prospect of steps to open their long-protected rice market.

A leading farm activist said on Friday there would be violent protests in the weeks ahead and the relative calm on the day the talks became official did not mean farmers were giving up.
MGR Archive 4.2.2006
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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