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Talk About Rough Politics: Korean Lawmaker Sets Off Tear Gas Canister

Angered by the ruling party's successful push to ratify a free trade deal with the U.S., a South Korean lawmaker "doused rivals with tear gas" earlier today during a raucous session of parliament, The Associated Press writes from Seoul.

Korea's Yonhap News agency reports that:

"Rep. Kim Sun-dong of the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) was in the full parliamentary session at around 4 p.m. when lawmakers of the ruling Grand National Party abruptly called a plenary session in an apparent move to ratify the bill. Kim threw the tear gas bomb near the Speaker's seat, where vice parliamentary speaker Chung Ui-hwa was sitting at the time."

Chaos, as they say, ensued until order could be restored.

As the AP reminds us:

"Such chaotic scenes are not uncommon in South Korea's parliament, where rival parties have a history of resorting to physical confrontation over highly charged issues. In 2008, opposition lawmakers used a sledgehammer to try and force their way into a barricaded committee room to stop the ruling party from introducing a debate on the U.S. trade deal."

The wire service has some "raw video" of the scene.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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