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2009/09/11 11:01 KST
N. Korea withdraws demand for steep wage hike at joint park

SEOUL, Sept. 11 (Yonhap) -- North Korea withdrew its demand for a hefty wage increase for its workers at a joint industrial park and instead proposed a pay raise cap, officials in Seoul said Friday, as anger grew in the South over a deadly flash flood caused when the North opened a dam.

   North Korea had earlier demanded a four-fold wage increase and a steep hike in land fees at the South Korean-run park, which sits on the northern side of the border. That would have been an increase in monthly wage for each North Korean worker from US$70-80 to about $300.

North Korea's management office at the Kaesong park "proposed a draft agreement to our management office on Thursday to keep the maximum rate of wage increase to 5 percent the same as before," South Korean Unification Ministry spokeswoman Lee Jong-joo said.

   The compromise came as criticism of North Korea surged in South Korea after an abrupt discharge of dam water caused a flash flood along the banks of the Imjin River near the border and killed six people who were camping or fishing there.