Gov't Promises Fresh Scrutiny of Korea-EU FTA

      March 11, 2011 08:07

      Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan looks at material related to the free trade agreement between Korea and EU in the National Assembly's Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee on March 3.

      The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will comb through the entire Korean translation of the free trade agreement with the EU to eliminate translation errors before the National Assembly meets again next month, a spokesman said Thursday.

      The ministry found itself with egg on its face when it emerged that the text submitted to the National Assembly for ratification contained several wrong figures. It has now pledged to select an outside agency such as a law firm to review all 1,400-odd-pages of the translated text. The decision comes after many accused it of lacking in-house supervision of the translation of treaties.

      Nam Kyung-pil, the chairman of the National Assembly's Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee, promised Thursday that ruling and opposition members of the committee will ratify the FTA provided the translation has been vetted properly.

      The ministry will also scrutinize the translations of the Korea-Chile and Korea-U.S. FTAs beginning this month and work on ways to improve the translation of trade agreements.

      Whenever it concludes a trade agreement in the future, the ministry will have it translated into Korean first, and then put it on public notice so that other government agencies, outside institutions and ordinary people can review it.

      If errors are found, the ministry will send a corrected text to the Ministry of Government Legislation for review. Once that is done, the Foreign Ministry will submit a final Korean version to the Cabinet for approval.

      The full Korean translation of the Korea-EU FTA text will be posted on the Foreign Ministry's website for public review until March 23. During this period, everybody can present his or her views on the translation.

      It will cost tens of millions of won to review the translation, a ministry official said.

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