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Learning English - Words in the News
18 April, 2008 - Published 13:28 GMT
South Korea resumes imports of US beef
A cow

South Korea is reopening its market to beef imports from the United States. The announcement resolves a key dispute that has been threatening to undermine a wider free trade agreement between the two allies. This report from John Sudworth:

Listen to the story

The deal paves the way for the resumption of a trade worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the American meat industry. Beef, from cattle younger than 30 months, could be shipped again as early as next month.

All imports were banned five years ago after mad cow disease was discovered in the United States. Politicians there have been demanding the reopening of the market, saying that ratification of the free trade agreement with South Korea depends on it.

It is perhaps no coincidence that the announcement comes at the same time as the South Korean and US Presidents are holding a summit meeting at Camp David. But South Korean farmers will be furious. They claim that lifting the ban will threaten their livelihoods.

John Sudworth, BBC News, Seoul

Listen to the words

paves the way for
gives the opportunity/chance to do or achieve something; makes it possible to do or achieve something

resumption of a trade
when buying and selling starts again after a pause

cows and bulls

transported, delivered

mad cow disease
a disease (also known as BSE - bovine spongiform encephalopathy) that affects the nervous system of cattle and is believed to be related to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans

It is perhaps no coincidence
it has probably been planned

a summit meeting
a meeting/talks at the highest level

very angry

lifting the ban
here, allowing beef imports from the US again

threaten their livelihoods
make it difficult for them to make a living by lessening/reducing the amounts of money they earn

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