South Korea's police chief offers to resign over farmer deaths

South Korea's national police chief offered to resign Thursday over police violence resulting in the deaths of two farmers, his office said. National Police Agency chief Huh Joon-young has been under pressure to step down after President Roh Moo-hyun publicly apologized following a finding by the country's human rights panel earlier this week that the farmers probably died as a result of police violence during an anti-globalization rally in Seoul last month.

"He expressed his intention to resign," said an official at police headquarters on condition he not be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media. The official didn't give further details. On Tuesday, Huh apologized for the deaths, but had refused to step down. Roh rejected calls to sack Huh, saying the police chief's two-year term is set by law.

Huh's resignation is expected to pave the way for the ruling Uri Party to entice the minor opposition Democratic Labor Party into ending its boycott of a planned special parliamentary session to deal with pending legislation, including the national budget, that must be passed by the end of the year, reports the AP. I.L.

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