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Union official dies 1 day after self-immolation protest

14:22 May 02, 2023

SEOUL, May 2 (Yonhap) -- A labor union official who set himself on fire outside a court in the eastern coastal city of Gangneung earlier this week died during treatment at a hospital in Seoul on Tuesday, police said.

The official, a ranking member of the Gangwon Province chapter of a nationwide construction workers' union, attempted self-immolation Monday hours before attending a pretrial detention hearing in Gangneung, 163 km east of Seoul, on charges of business obstruction.

Members of a construction workers' union hold a news conference in Chuncheon, northeastern South Korea, on May 2, 2023, to condemn the government over the self-immolation death of a fellow union member. (Yonhap)

The 50-year-old official, identified only by his surname Yang, was airlifted to a Seoul hospital but died at 1:09 p.m., police said.

The local prosecution earlier requested arrest warrants for Yang and two other union officials on suspicion of forcing the hiring of union members and extorting about 80 million won (US$59,700) from construction companies between April 2022 and February this year.



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