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Fri, December 1, 2023 | 12:34
Doomed labor pact
The grand compromise among labor, business and the government on labor market reform has once again broken down. On Tuesday, the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU) reaffirmed its decision to nullify the pact and declared its withdrawal from the tripartite labor talks.
What President must do
President Park Geun-hye participated in a signature-collection campaign Monday calling for the National Assembly to quickly approve a set of economic and labor reform bills.
Protecting children
A string of horrendous incidents involving children is causing shock waves. Police detained a married couple in their 30s last week over the alleged death by neglect of their son, 7, in 2012. The father allegedly cut up the body and stored the parts in a refrigerator at home.
Delay of April polls
A controversy over delaying the April 13 general election is heating up as a newly established centrist party has made a proposal to that effect, citing the unprecedented invalidation of constituencies. In a statement issued Wednesday, the tentatively named People’s Party said the parliamentary elections must be postponed to ensure the people's right of choice and to expand opportunities for political rookies. The new party, led by software mogul-turned-politician Ahn Cheol-soo, is scheduled to launch officially on Feb. 2.
Spur anti-graft drive
The government on Tuesday announced a package of anti-graft measures aimed at rooting out corruption in the public sector. The most salient feature of the package, entitled the “corruption vaccination project,” is focused on preventing corruption, a far cry from conventional anti-graft measures that seek to detect corruption and strengthen punishments. That's why the title of the project contains “vaccination.”
Labor deal in jeopardy
The nation's largest labor umbrella group has declared null and void the Sept. 15 grand labor compromise, accusing the government of unilaterally breaking the tripartite agreement. The Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU) shelved its formal withdrawal from the deal until Jan. 19. But given the labor ministry's strict position on key labor issues, the deal is likely to fall flat.
Child care in turmoil
The turmoil over a free child care program in Seoul and some other cities and provinces is becoming a reality. Strategy and Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan said last week that the government would sue regional education offices for failing to draw up a budget for this year's preschool program, called the Nuri Curriculum.
Falling growth potential
An economic downturn has been a worldwide phenomenon since the 2008 global economic crisis. Korea was no exception, with its growth rate lower than projected almost every year since then. But what is even more important is how the country’s growth potential is moving. It is quite woeful in this regard that a Bank of Korea report showed last week that Korea had already been caught in a trap of structural and long-term low growth.
N. Korea's imprudence
Ever unpredictable, North Korea surprised the world again Wednesday morning when it claimed that it carried out a "successful" hydrogen bomb test. The claim, if true, will signify that the isolated regime in Pyongyang has made a major leap in its nuclear weapons capabilities.
Safety of budget carriers
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport has unveiled plans to conduct a review of the country's six low-cost carriers following a string of safety lapses. The plan seems appropriate, given that the recent frequent accidents might augur ill for budget carriers that could be involved in a disaster. The transport ministry needs to make thorough safety inspections.