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China, S Korea resolve kimchi trade dispute
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South Korea resumed the normal customs inspection of 10 percent of kimchi products imported from China on Monday, ending a trade dispute over the spicy pickled vegetables that have lasted for over two years.



The South Korean embassy in China has notified China's top quality watchdog of the decision, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) of China Wednesday afternoon.


The (South) Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) on October 21, 2005 claimed to have found parasite eggs in kimchi imported from China and launched 100 percent inspection of the Chinese products.


The AQSIQ of China has since then strengthened supervision over the quality of domestically made kimchi products. The entry level for kimchi making enterprises has been elevated and a batch of substandard manufacturers have been shut down.


China has also put the whole manufacturing process of kimchi, from the planting of raw materials to the exporting of the products, under close quality control monitoring.


Meanwhile, the Chinese and South Korean food safety watchdog agencies established a consultation and cooperation mechanism to seek proper solution to the issue.


On August 2007, South Korea agreed to reduce the inspection ratio of Chinese kimchi exports that carry official hygiene certificates from 100 percent to 20 percent.


China exported 202,000 tons of kimchi products to South Korea in 2007, worth about 100 million U.S. dollars. No parasite eggs have been detected in the exports, the report says.


(CRI January 10, 2008)

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