S. Korea assembly locks down amid US trade deal standoff

November 3, 2011 05:51

SEOUL - South Korea's parliament was locked down on Thursday amid a deepening political standoff over the ruling Grand National Party's push to wrap up a free trade deal with the United States in the face of bitter liberal opposition.

Members of a the small far-left Democratic Labor Party have barricaded themselves in a committee meeting room this week to prevent a scheduled debate on processing a bill which would clear the way for the final approval of the free trade agreement (FTA) in parliament.

In a bizarre chain of events on Wednesday, the Grand National Party (GNP) discretely tried to shift the debate to an adjoining room, only for the opposition lawmakers to chase them. In chaotic scenes, the session was abandoned amid shouting and shoving.

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