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Moon apologizes for failure to keep campaign pledge on minimum wage

16:09 July 14, 2019

SEOUL, July 14 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in offered a public apology Sunday for an apparent failure to keep his campaign pledge to raise South Korea's minimum wage to 10,000 won (US$8.48) per hour within his tenure.

Moon delivered the message through his chief of staff for policy, Kim Sang-jo.

"As the president, it's very regrettable and I am sorry for failing to keep the promise with the people," Moon was quoted as saying.

Last week, a related panel of labor and business representatives and experts decided to raise the wage floor 2.9 percent to 8,590 won for next year. For 2019, it hiked the wage 10.9 percent from the previous year.

The growth rate, the lowest in a decade, means it has become almost impossible for Moon to achieve his policy goal of lifting the minimum wage to 10,000 won before his five-year tenure ends in May 2022.

In a meeting with his Cheong Wa Dae aides, Moon said the Minimum Wage Commission made the difficult decision in consideration of "economic conditions, employment situations and market receptiveness."

lcd@yna.co.kr
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