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South Korea's work-life imbalance

A corporate culture of marathon workdays is taking a toll on society

A rush-hour scrum forms near the exit of a Seoul subway station in November.

SEOUL Chung, 38, quit her job last year as a senior nurse at a Seoul hospital where she had worked for eight years. She now has a nursing job at a U.S. military hospital in Pyeongtaek, some 70km south of the capital. Though she makes only about two-thirds as much as she used to, Chung, who wished to be identified only by her last name, said she has no regrets.

"When I worked for the hospital in Seoul, I was given extra tasks after completing my eight-hour shift. I used to put in 12-hour days and had to come to the office on weekends to finish my work."

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