15:28 GMT20 October 2020
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    The Relationship Between the Two Koreas (166)
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    There are near 53,000 North Korean workers at Kaesong, and the South and the North have an agreement over 49 items on the working conditions.

    MOSCOW, December 9 (Sputnik) — South Korean authorities are examining North Korea’s unilateral decision to amend a number of wage-related clauses at the jointly operated Kaesong Industrial Complex, a Unification Ministry official said Tuesday.

    "We are in the process of reviewing and analyzing the contents revised by the North," he was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.

    When the review is done, the South Korean government will take appropriate measures, the official added.

    There are near 53,000 North Korean workers at Kaesong, and the South and the North have an agreement over 49 items on the working conditions.

    Without prior consultations, North Korea announced it had decided to review 13 of the items, including scrapping a 5-percent cap on the annual minimum wage increase rate, easing qualifications for severance pay and expanding the authority of the North’s institution running the complex, according to the official.

    North Korean workers’ wages have grown by 5 percent annually since 2007. Currently, North Korean workers are paid $70.35 each month. Wages could reach $130 with allowances and incentives counted. The figure is reportedly 50 percent higher than the average income of workers in North Korea.

    Over 120 South Korean firms, mostly small and medium businesses, run operations at the Kaesong facilities, located north of the inter-Korean border, with about 1,000 specialists from the country working at the territory.

    The complex was created in 2004 and planned to draw positive aspects from the North’s cheap labor and the South’s capital and technology.

    It was shut down from April to September 2013, due to acute tensions between North and South Korea. Earlier, in 2012, it was reported that eight companies were forced to pay an equivalent of $160,000 in taxes, following a unilateral decision which had not been discussed with South Korea.

    Topic:
    The Relationship Between the Two Koreas (166)

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    South Korea, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), minimum wage, Kaesong Industrial Complex
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