Workers at Kaesong to get demerits

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Workers at Kaesong to get demerits

South Korea has decided to introduce a demerit point system for hundreds of its nationals in an inter-Korean industrial complex in North Korea’s border city of Kaesong to strengthen law and order, an official said yesterday.

The Kaesong Industrial District Foundation plans to issue cumulative demerits to more than 700 South Korean workers for such offenses as traffic accidents, fires, violence and sexual offenses in the complex, the official said.

The foundation can impose penalty points for the South Korean workers ranging from 2 to 10, the maximum demerit, depending on the offense.

If the total cumulative points exceeds 10, the offender will be permanently banned from visiting the complex, while those who earn nine demerits will be suspended from visiting the complex for three months.

South Korean workers with seven or eight demerits will be suspended from the complex for two months and those with three or four demerits will be suspended for two weeks.

The purpose of the point system is to establish law and order in the industrial complex and strengthen the safety of workers, the official said.

He did not give a specific time frame on when the system will take effect. He also declined to give statistics of offenses that have taken place in the complex, citing internal policy. He asked not to be identified as he was not authorized to speak to media.

The move comes as North Korea plans to provide about 400 more North Korean laborers to South Korea’s small and medium-sized companies operating in the industrial complex as early as Thursday.

Currently, more than 120 South Korean companies employ more than 48,000 North Korean workers to produce kitchenware, watches, shoes and other labor-intensive goods.


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