South Korea, EU start 'final round' of free trade talks

South Korea and the European Union kicked off what they expect to be their final round of talks Monday to conclude a free trade agreement they hope will send a strong anti-protectionist message. Negotiators began their eighth session of talks with smiles and a handshake in a conference room at South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Seoul's chief negotiator Lee Hye-min said they would be the "final round" in a process that began nearly two years ago and that a few outstanding issues needed to be resolved before they can send an agreement to trade ministers for final approval. He did not say what the issues were, though automobile trade - in which South Korea enjoys a huge surplus - had been a drag on the negotiations.