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South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has entered his second year as president. The question is whether he can spur growth in a sputtering economy.   © Nikkei montage/Source photo by Getty Images
Asia Insight

South Korea's weak growth tests Yoon's resolve to cut spending

Subsidy and patronage habits keep economy tied to inefficient old ways

STEVEN BOROWIEC, Nikkei staff writer | South Korea

SEOUL -- Lim Ji-yeon is cursed or screamed at a few times a day by the customers she speaks with in her job at a call center.

She fields 50 to 60 calls daily from clients inquiring about the financial support schemes her organization provides. Despite the taxing nature of their work, call-center staff earn only slightly more than $2,000 per month at a time when rising housing and food prices are squeezing household budgets.

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