South Korea has fortified its lobbying and public relations team to try to win approval of a free-trade agreement with the U.S., according to

The Korean embassy signed the Glover Park Group to a yearlong, nearly $400,000 contract in early September, according to Justice Department records. At about the same time, the embassy signed public relations giant Edelman to a three-month, $120,000 agreement.

“We hired them to help us to work with this Congress to get this [free trade agreement] passed,” John Brinkley, communications director for the Korean embassy, told The Hill.

During the first half of 2010, the Korean government already had signed at least four different firms to help win over lawmaker support for the trade deal, which has been stalled since President Bush signed it several years ago.

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