N.Korea Demands More Money for Kaesong Workers

      February 27, 2015 10:18

      North Korea on Tuesday told South Korea it is raising the minimum wage for North Korean workers at the joint Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex to US$74 in March.

      "The North told the joint management committee on Tuesday afternoon that it would implement some revised labor regulations for the industrial park of which it unilaterally notified the South in December," a Unification Ministry official said Thursday. "It said it will raise the minimum wage by 5.18 percent from $70.35 to $74 from March 1 under revised Article 25 of the regulations."

      The North also told the South that it will now collect 15 percent of wages plus overtime pay for "social security," the official added.

      In reality the regime pockets most of the workers' wages already, and companies often pay staff in kind.

      Companies would now have to pay $164.1 per worker, up $8.6.

      The South Korean co-chairman of the management committee on Thursday tried to send a fax to the North to protest against the unilateral decision, but the North refused to accept the message.

      In November last year, the North unilaterally revised the labor regulations for the industrial park, lifting the five-percent cap on the annual minimum wage increase.

      Back in 2013, the North closed down the industrial park in protest against joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises and held several South Korean staffers hostage.

      The current dispute also comes just ahead of massive joint exercises here.

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