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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 November, 2003, 14:11 GMT
S Korean farmers in WTO protest
Farmers demonstrate in Seoul
Organisers said 65,000 demonstrators marched through Seoul
South Korean farmers have clashed with riot police during a protest against trade liberalisation which affects the agricultural sector.

Organisers said 65,000 protesters turned out, vowing to fight World Trade Organisation (WTO) plans to open up the country's rice market.

Police said 35,000 people were involved.

The demonstrators were also opposing a free trade agreement with Chile, which is being debated in parliament.

They carried traditional funeral banners with the names of the political parties supporting the agreement with Chile.

They also burned US flags and WTO logos.

Two police buses were burnt by the protesters who also attacked the police with bamboo sticks when they were prevented from marching to the parliament building.

Some protesters were hurt during scuffles.

Local media reports said officers had confiscated thousands of clubs, iron pipes and gas tanks before the march.

South Korea is due to negotiate with WTO members next year over a new rice importing system to be implemented in 2005.

The WTO wants South Korea and others countries to scrap quotas in favour of a tariff-based system.


SEE ALSO:
S Korea's Roh condemns clashes
10 Nov 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Strike cripples S Korea railways
29 Jun 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Korea gets tough on strikes
25 Jun 03  |  Business
Korean strikes spread to Hyundai
24 Jun 03  |  Business
Korean bank strike ends
22 Jun 03  |  Business
S Korea bails out strike-hit bank
19 Jun 03  |  Business


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