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Posted : 2017-09-13 17:13
Updated : 2017-09-13 17:41

Korea mulls raising minimum wage to 10,000 won

By Lee Min-hyung

The government said Wednesday it is considering raising the minimum hourly wage to 10,000 won ($8.86), but did not specify when.

"We will conduct cautious and careful reviews of the plan," Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said during an interpellation session at the National Assembly, declining to elaborate on its specific timeframe.

This came about two months after the government decided to increase the 2018 minimum hourly wage to 7,530 won, up 16.4 percent from the previous year.

The increase was the biggest in 17 years. This was a part of President Moon Jae-in's campaign pledge to raise the figure to 10,000 won by 2020.

"The 16.4-percent increase is relatively high, but raising the minimum wage to 10,000 won requires a more thorough approach," he said.

While announcing the 2018 minimum wage increase in July, Kim said the government would do its utmost to minimize burdens on small business owners by pouring in 4 trillion won to subsidize labor costs for self-employed and small business operators.

When asked whether the ministry can realize Moon's campaign pledge by 2020, he said the government will push the drive next year, but fell short of commenting details.

"For a smooth landing of the plan, we are joining hands with all the relevant ministries," he said.

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