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Park urges officials to brace for provocations from N. Korea

2016/01/25 11:53

SEOUL, Jan. 25 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye said Monday that South Korea should brace for any possible provocations from North Korea amid tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Park said the possibility of provocations is growing, citing North Korea's recent leafleting campaign against South Korea.

North Korea has floated leaflets criticizing South Korea and the U.S. in an apparent response to Seoul's resumption of anti-Pyongyang broadcasts along the heavily fortified border.

South Korea resumed the psychological warfare as part of its punishment against North Korea over its nuclear test earlier this month.

Park called on officials to consider setting up regional police headquarters in areas near the border with North Korea. She made the comments in a regular meeting with top secretaries.

She also urged a major umbrella labor union to rejoin the negotiating table with the government and management, and said a landmark labor deal must be implemented to create more jobs for young people.

In September, labor, management and the government produced a deal -- the first in 17 years -- to ease labor restrictions. The deal will allow companies to dismiss workers who are either negligent or underperforming.

Last week, the Federation of Korean Trade Unions declared the breakdown of a landmark labor deal as it walked out of a trilateral meeting with management and the government in protest of the government's labor guidelines.

Under the guidelines, companies can fire "noticeably" underperforming workers and will be able to amend their employment rules, such as those for recruitment and dismissal, without consent from workers.

The FKTU has claimed that the government's announcement of labor guidelines is like "issuing a license" for employers to fire workers.

Still, Park rejected the claim, saying the guidelines are designed to create jobs by establishing fair and flexible employment practices. Park said workers will not be easily fired under the guidelines.

"I will push for the reform along with people, without being swayed by those who are against the reform," Park said.

She also called on the FKTU to break from its practices of taking to the streets, warning that those who stage illegal rallies and instigate people will be held accountable.

The FKTU has vowed to stage a rally to try to thwart the guidelines

entropy@yna.co.kr

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