Posted June. 20, 2003 21:50,
Updated January. 01, 1970 09:00
Expressways across the nation suffered severely from traffic jam Friday as farmers occupied expressways with their trucks and slowly drove their vehicles in a protest against FTA between Korea and Chile.
Korea Farmers League and the Coalition of female farmers` association held a demonstration with 1000 farmers and members of National Agricultural Cooperative Federation and Livestock Cooperative in front of the headquarter of Kookmin Bank at Yeouido, Seoul. Friday. They were protesting against the passing of the bill on FTA between Korea and Chile. 10,000 farmers from 97 cities and counties at first planned to drive to Seoul to participate in the demonstration. But most of them failed to do so due to the strong measures from the police.
200 farmers from Farmers` Association in Jinju held a demonstration by standing their 150 vehicles at Munsan InterChange on Namhae express way and around Jinju tunnel from 11 a.m. Friday, causing severe traffic congestion until the afternoon.
The same traffic jam happened at about 20 ICs in Kyeongnam Province as police tried to block farmers from driving into expressway. 40 farmers from Kyeongnam Province were arrested. 50 farmers from Farmers` association in Naju si also struggled with the police for 3 hours with their 50 vehicles occupying Honam Expressway around Baegyangsa restaurant, paralyzing the traffic in the area. Farmers, then, drove into the expressway individually and drove at a slow speed of 50 km per hour.
300 farmers from Farmers` Association in Jeongeup si, Kimje si and Wanju county also drove on the expressway from the morning on Friday and drove at a speed of 10~ 20 km per hour.
Drivers around Kunsan tollgate on West coast expressway had to drive at a slow speed as farmers from Farmers` Association in Kunsan waged the same protest on the road.
1000 farmers from Korea Farmers League`s branch in Northern Kyeongsang province protested with their trucks from 9 a.m. Friday.
40 farmers from Korea Farmers League`s Northern Chuncheong province branch occupied the Jungbu expressway and waged a sit-in demonstration from 11 a.m., stopping the traffic flow in the area for 30 minutes.