Monday, January 10, 2011

Imports of SK beef, pork, chicken banned at biz complex

JANUARY 11, 2011 09:17
With food-and-mouth disease and bird flu spreading in South Korea, North Korea banned the import of South Korean pork, beef and chicken at the Kaesong industrial complex, said the Unification Ministry in Seoul Monday.

North Korean quarantine officials banned late last month South Korean pork and beef used in meals for workers at the complex. Also halted was South Korean poultry in November last year in the wake of the bird flu outbreak in the South.

A source at a company operating in the complex said, “Meat sent from South Korea was used to prepare soup and dishes for South and North Korean workers at our plant. But due to the North Korean authority’s ban, we are making side dishes with fish balls, tofu and fried Alaska pollack.”

The North has sensitively responded to outbreaks of infectious disease in livestock and poultry in the South due to its weak quarantine capacity stemming from economic hardship. Pyongyang halted South Korean pork and beef imports in January last year, citing the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in the South, but lifted the ban in October.

Amid the global outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, in 2003, the North banned entry and departure of foreign nationals.

Seoul is reportedly discussing with Pyongyang the North’s import of pork, beef and chicken from other countries like Australia.

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