South Korea’s farm minister has offered to step down over the worst outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the country’s history.

Almost 3m cattle have so far been culled at a cost of $1.34bn (£841m) since the disease was first confirmed last November.

Tens of thousands of other cattle have been vaccinated in a bid to stop the disease from spreading.

Yoo Jeong-bok, who became farm minister last September, has faced criticism from politicians and the media over the department’s response to the disease’s re-emergence.

Speaking to reporters on Friday (28 January), Mr Jeong-bok said: “I plan to do my utmost to try to contain the foot-and-mouth outbreak as soon as possible.

“Once the situation comes under control, I will step down.”

It is just eight months since the government claimed to have eradicated foot-and-mouth from the country.

The country is also fighting an outbreak of bird flu, which was reported in late December.