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South Korea heads into crisis

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South Korea heads into crisis

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The entire South Korean cabinet offered its resignation this morning – amid a wave of public protests and strike calls that have all but blocked the government’s plans for major economic reform.

But it is unclear whether the move will be enough to save President Lee Myung-bak. Elected by a landslide three months ago, he is now hugely unpopular. He has warned Asia’s fourth largest economy could be heading into crisis, as a million people were expected at protest rallies today. At the weekend, they took to the streets over the lifting of a ban on US beef imports.

The government dropped the embargo to secure a free trade deal with the States. But Koreans are convinced the meat carries a mad cow danger. The apparent heavy-handedness of the police has added to public anger.