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S Korea Pres: Unemployment Rise Inevitable With Reform

Dow Jones, 21 November 2000

SEOUL (Dow Jones)—South Korean President Kim Dae-jung reaffirmed Tuesday the government’s stance that nonviable companies should be shut down, and he said a temporary increase in unemployment is inevitable given corporate restructuring.

Economic policies should be addressed as economic policies and not as social policies, said Kim in a meeting with economy related ministers.

We have to do what we need to do for the country’s future, he said, adding that labor unions must understand that their companies must survive first in order to save their jobs.

Think this is the last chance for restructuring, Kim said while asking the cabinet members to carry out the reforms with principle and resolution.

He said Daewoo Motor Co. (Q.DMT) should be dealt with in the same way as Kia Motors Corp. or Samsung Motors Inc. Kia was taken over by Hyundai Motor Co. (Q.HMC) and Samsung by Renault SA (F.RNA) through public auctions.—21/11/00 05-55G