Nearly 3,000 activists staged a rally in the capital Seoul on Friday, chanting slogans against the deal while holding up banners condemning the FTA, the Associated Press reported
Activists marched towards the South Korean parliament as the ruling Grand National Party and opposition parties were discussing the controversial deal.
Protesters clashed with the police when some of them tried to enter the parliament building by climbing over the wall.
Police forces used water cannons to disperse protesters and arrested a number of them.
Protesters say the agreement could damage the country’s farming industry by flooding the market with cheaper imports.
“South Korea is the country of farming, and it has been relying on farming until now. The South Korea-US FTA kills the South Korean farming,” Lee Keun-soo, Head of Gawngju City Farmers Union said.
Protesters called on the government to pull out of the agreement and consider a full renegotiation with the US.
The pact in question, approved by the Korean government but still requires the approval of the South Korean parliament, is Washington’s biggest FTA since the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.