South Korea hopes to resolve its beef-trade spat with the U.S. as early as possible in order to bolster chances of parliamentary approval of the free-trade agreement signed last June, reports The agreement needs to be approved by the Korean National Assembly and the U.S. Congress.

Seoul currently allows only boneless U.S. beef products from cattle less than 30 months of age. The U.S. is demanding a full market reopening as a condition of FTA approval.

Korean officials say the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade reported to President-elect Lee Myung-bak's transition team "that the government will speed up the resolution of the beef trade spat, thus pressing the U.S. Congress to ratify the trade pact."