[LETTERS to the editor]Workers don’t see “wages”

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[LETTERS to the editor]Workers don’t see “wages”

Thank you for your article on Busan-based shoemaker Samduk’s factory in the Kaesong Industrial Complex (“North’s labor learns capitalism” Nov. 3). Unfortunately, it was wrong on one small but critical point that I believe leaves a false impression with your readers but is consistent with the current trend to paint a rosy picture of anything having to do with Kim Jong-il’s oppressive dictatorship. Your article states, “A North Korean worker at the Samduk factory earns $57.50 per month in base wages.” Actually, it should have read, “A North Korean worker at the Samduk factory earns $57.50 per month for the regime in base wages.” As you may be unaware, North Korea refuses to allow workers to be paid individually and companies operating in Kaesong Industrial Complex instead deposit all wages into a North Korean government account. Workers see very little of their “wages.”
We can hardly call it capitalism when workers are not receiving wages.

by Kevin Madden
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