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Moon apologizes for breaking minimum wage pledge

South Korean leader signals a greater focus on working with businesses

South Korean President Moon Jae-in appears to be shifting his focus from labor unions to corporations.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday apologized for falling short of his campaign promise to raise the hourly minimum wage to 10,000 won ($8.86) by 2020.

The government's Minimum Wage Commission decided Saturday to raise the minimum wage by 10.9% to 8,350 won in 2019. This, combined with another double-digit increase in 2018, represents significantly faster growth than in other developed economies. But for Moon to meet his campaign pledge, the government needs to raise the minimum wage by roughly another 20% in 2020 -- a highly unlikely scenario.

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