South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-Chong said yesterday (17 April) his country won't be rushed into signing a trade deal with the US that is not suitable for the country's interests.

South Korea started initial discussions over a free-trade agreement (FTA) last month, with official talks due to kick off in June. The FTA would cover goods such as textiles, steel, automobiles and pharmaceuticals.

Kim spoke following concern from some political figures that the government might be too quick to seal a deal with the US. Others, including street 17,000 protesters on Saturday, have said the agreement would make Korea 'the 51st US state'.