More than ten thousand South Korean farmers held a rally to protest against a free trade deal with China. The farmers also called on their government to implement policies to protect them as the global rice price continues to drop.
South Korean farmers protest against a free trade deal with China and falling rice prices Wednesday. Chanting slogans, shaving their heads and painting banners using their own blood, more than ten thousand farmers gathered in downtown Seoul for the biggest rally by the farmers this year.
[Kang Woo-hyun, Chairman, Korean Advanced Farmers Fed.]:
"The government should not fully implement the free trade deal with China. It should think about farmers. If the government has to go ahead with talks with China, the deal must satisfy the farmers."
The angry farmers also called on the government to come up with policies for them as the global rice price continues to drop because of over-supply.
Some of the farmers used their own blood to write a message reading "Stabilize the rice price." Others had their hair shaved to show their anger over what they call insufficient action by the Lee Myung-bak administration to keep growers afloat.
In 2009, South Korea and China agreed to consider a free trade deal and the two neighbors expect bilateral trade to double by 2013.
The two parties began a preliminary meeting yesterday in Beijing on free trade.