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Australia asks S. Korea to quickly ratify free trade agreement

Australia's trade and investment minister asked South Korea to quickly ratify a free trade deal, a Seoul official said Friday.

Australia's Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb made the request during a meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se in Seoul, according to the official.

South Korea and Australia hope to officially announce the ratification of the free trade deal during the Group of 20 summit scheduled for November in Australia, the official said.       

South Korea and Australia signed a free trade agreement (FTA) in April. Seoul submitted a bill to the National Assembly for approval last month.

Earlier this week, South Korea President Park Geun-hye also called for swift parliamentary endorsement of two separate free trade deals with Australia and Canada.

The FTAs, along with a number of other bills submitted in the interest of boosting the sluggish economy, have been backlogged due to bipartisan wrangling over the Sewol ferry bill, which was aimed at investigating the origins of the April disaster that left more than 300 dead or missing.   (Yonhap)

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