Translation mishaps on EU trade pact corrected

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Translation mishaps on EU trade pact corrected

Following a furor from lawmakers over errors in the Korean translation of the Korea-EU free trade agreement, the cabinet yesterday approved a corrected version to submit to the National Assembly for ratification.

“I am extremely sorry. The typos were working-level mistakes,” Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon said yesterday at the cabinet meeting. “I have consulted about the issue with the European Union. I will do my best to thoroughly work on details to prevent a recurrence of similar incidents.”

It emerged last week that the some data in the Korean translation of the free trade agreement, submitted by the government to the National Assembly for ratification last October, were inconsistent with those in the English-language original.

In the English text of the agreement, up to 50 percent of material for toys and wax products made in Korea can receive tariff benefits if they are used in Korean-made products.

However, the Korean text said the limit was 40 percent for toys and 20 percent for wax products, making it less advantageous for Korean producers.

Representative Park Joo-sun of the Democratic Party said Wednesday that Korea could have suffered a considerable loss if the erroneous version was ratified.

Defending the errors as an honest mistake, the government asked that the National Assembly to ratify the agreement without correcting the typos first and that it would correct the errors later.

The European Parliament already approved the trade deal - in the EU’s 23 official languages as well as a Korean language version - on Feb. 17, and the Korean government said it would be easier to fix the typos in the Korean-language version after it is ratified by correcting mistakes through the Korea-EU trade commission, which is to be formed once the FTA takes effect on July 1.

The proposal prompted angry criticism from the legislature, and the government withdrew its ratification motion to make the correction first before submitting it again to the National Assembly.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said Friday that it had agreed with the European Union to correct the errors in the Korean-language text.

With the cabinet approving the revised text, the ratification motion will be submitted to the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee on Thursday.


By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

Related Korean Article[YTN]

원산지 기준이 잘못 표기된 채 국회에 상정됐던 한·EU FTA 비준동의안이 오류가 수정돼 재상정안이 의결됐습니다.

정부는 오늘 오전 세종로 정부중앙청사에서 김황식 국무총리 주재로 국무회의를 열고 완구류와 왁스류의 원산지 기준을 바로잡은 내용의 재상정안을 처리하고 조만간 국회에 제출하기로 했습니다.

정부는 또 구제역과 조류인플루엔자 등 가축 전염병 발생으로 식수원 오염이 우려되는 매몰지역에 2천163억 원을 투입해 상수도 확충 사업을 진행하기로 했습니다.

이와함께 구제역과 그에따른 원자재 가격 급등에 대처하기 위해 삼겹살이나 분유 등에 적용되는 할당관세율도 인하하기로 했습니다.

정부는 이밖에 병무청 공무원에게는 병역 기피 범죄에 대한 사법경찰권을 주고 농림부 공무원에게는 농·축·수산물에 관한 범죄 전반에 대해 사법경찰권을 부여하는 내용의 법률 개정안도 의결했습니다.
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