A South Korean politician has launched a tear gas attack on his rivals in an attempt to stop a controversial trade deal.
Screams and shouting filled the chamber of the National Assembly as members of President Lee Myung-bak's ruling party forced their way onto the floor for a surprise vote on the deal.
During the confusion one opposition member opened a tear gas canister and attacked his rivals with it, before he was eventually hauled out of the chamber by security guards. Glass doors were also smashed as parliamentary aides attempted to enter the chamber, according to the New York Times.
But the vote, comprising a huge free trade deal with the United States that some in the country argue will result in job losses, was eventually passed with a large majority.
Scenes of physical violence are not unusual in the South Korean parliament. In 2008 lawmakers used a sledgehammer in an attempt to force their way into a committee room to stop a debate on the same US trade deal.
According to the Associated Press after the vote was passed lawmakers were seen slumped on around the parliament chamber, heads on each others' shoulders and staring at the floor in silence.
The deal represents the United State's biggest free-trade deal since a 1994 agreement with Canada and Mexico. In 2010 trade between the two countries was worth around $90bn.
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