Friday, February 10, 2006

Eastern Asia:

South Korea Seeks Free Trade Agreement With U.S.
10 February 2006

THE KOREAN TIMES (SEOUL) – South Korean Vice Finance Minister Kwon Tae-Shin stated that a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between South Korea and the U.S. would help ease concerns over North Korea’s nuclear weapons development. Last week, South Korea and the U.S. announced in Washington they will launch negotiations for a trade pact with the aim of concluding it in the first half of next year. South Korea also said the deal will bring the two allies politically and economically closer. Formal negotiations will begin in May, because the U.S. government is required to have three months of consultations with Congress before starting such talks.

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