Beef bested bombs.
America's chief diplomat found herself vouching for the purity of U.S. cattle Saturday, wading into a bitter trade dispute that for South Koreans has eclipsed the long-running drama over North Korea's nuclear activity and threatened the government of President Lee Myung-bak.
Just one day after the communist North demolished the most visible symbol of its nuclear programs, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice faced a barrage of questions about the safety of American steaks, chops and burgers. She had told reporters she hoped this issue would not distract from other matters.
"I want to assure everyone that American beef is safe," she told a news conference with South Korea's foreign minister, Yu Myung-hwan. "We will continue to work with you to have consumer confidence in that matter. We want there to be consumer confidence in American beef."