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Clashes in Seoul during free trade demo

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 01:11

Nov. 23 - Teargas is set off in parliament and thousands of South Koreans clash with riot police, as lawmakers push through ratification of a free trade agreement with the United States. Nick Rowlands reports.

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South Koreans protesting against the ratification of a free trade deal with the United States face water cannon. About 5,000 workers, students, and civic group members - as well as opposition party members - gathered in central Seoul, demanding the ratification be nullified. Economists believe the deal could boost the 67 billion U.S. dollars in annual trade between the two countries by as much as a quarter, but demonstrators are not convinced. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) 19-YEAR-OLD PROTESTER LEE JANG-WON SAYING: "The economic indicators might look good, but I don't think there will be anything we can get from it. Our lives will be a tough struggle instead." The bill was passed with an overwhelming majority on Tuesday, but the session was not without drama as one lawmaker set off a tear gas device. The deal was approved by the U.S. Congress last month and signed into law by President Barack Obama. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.

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Clashes in Seoul during free trade demo

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 01:11