The Korea Herald


Trade Ministry to review all FTA texts

By 황장진

Published : April 7, 2011 - 18:30

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The Trade Ministry said Thursday it will review the Korean-language texts of all free trade agreements the nation has signed after more than 200 mistakes were found in the pact with the European Union.

The ministry is currently reviewing the texts of its pacts with the United States and Peru which have yet to be approved by the parliament.

“In addition to the two FTAs, we will conduct rereading of all the five FTAs which took effect. If errors are found we will take steps for correction,” a senior ministry official told reporters.

Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon on Monday apologized to the public after confirming that there were a total of 207 errors and omissions in the Korean language version of the Korea-EU FTA.

He said all errors have been fixed.

Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik said on Thursday the chief trade official should take responsibility for the blunder.

“Officials involved, including Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon, should take due responsibility for the errors,” Kim said during a parliamentary session.

“The government has nothing to say. We’re really sorry,” the prime minister said. He will consult with President Lee Myung-bak to decide how the trade minister should take blame.

The trade minister had pledged to take disciplinary action against those responsible, including himself.

The National Assembly on Wednesday sent a ratification motion for the FTA back to the government for the second time. A new ratification bill is expected to be presented to the legislative committee on foreign affairs, trade and unification on Tuesday.

Seoul wants lawmakers to pass the FTA pact within the month so it can go into effect in July. The EU Parliament has already passed the agreement.

On Wednesday, Rep. Chung Ok-im of the ruling Grand National Party claimed that there were also numerous translational mistakes in FTA documents with Chile and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations which are already in effect.

She said in the Korean version of the FTA text with Chile, there were such mistakes as “material weight” written as “material cost,” while the spelling of “Malaysia” was incorrect along with such words as “television.”

The lawmaker added that the Korean version of the ASEAN pact wrote “over code” when English version was “over coat.”

(From news reports)