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South Korea's New President Believes People Should Work Up To 120 Hours A Week

Charisa Bossinakis

| Last updated 

South Korea's New President Believes People Should Work Up To 120 Hours A Week

Yoon Seok-youl has just been announced as South Korea's new President and although he’s burning bright on his victory lap, the newly elected leader had some very interesting views about the standard work week.

Last year, while on his campaign trail, Seok-youl reportedly criticised the 52-hour workweek and said people should work up to 120 hours a week if needed.

“When I met young startups, they complained that there was an exception to the implementation of the 52-hour week so that workers could agree or choose the conditions," he said, according to News Directory 3.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

“To develop a game, you need to work a week instead of 52 hours a week. You should be able to work hard even for 120 hours and then be able to rest as much as you want.”

What ever happened to following the words of the great Dolly Parton, ‘Working 9 to 5’?

Mr Seok-youl's comments were slammed by members of the ruling Democratic Party who said the former Prosecutor General’s opinion was ‘disappointing’.

In a press briefing, a Democratic Party floor spokesperson said that if Yoon meant to criticise the government’s labour policy, he ‘flunked’ big time.

“He should study properly if he wants to run for president,” they said.

“What has he been learning cramming all this time? It’s very disappointing. Better stay quiet when you don’t know well.”

Kim Young-bae, a member of the Democratic Party’s supreme council, compared the President's views to Nazism.

She said: “The Nazis’ Auschwitz concentration camp was 98 hours work per week, and people worked 90 hours during the Industrial Revolution in Britain.”

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

In a game of he-said, she-said, Seok-youl quickly defended his comments following the outrage.

In July last year, he told reporters in Daegu: “What kind of a dictator would make people work 120 hours a week? That’s nonsense.”

“I heard that people on the political opposite side from me distorted what I said as if I said we should work 120 hours. It’s not worth any attention.”

Seok-youl, who is considered a conservative ‘icon’ has extremely traditionalist stances on social issues.

The newly elected President has pledged to abolish the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, as he said the department treats men like ‘potential sex criminals’.

He has also cultivated a large anti-feminist following for stating he wishes to enforce harsher penalties on those who make false sexual assault claims and has publicly denied that current political and social systems benefit men.

However, despite sharing these conservative views, Seok-youl won the presidency this week.

The margin of victory was 0.73 per cent, officially making the election the closest defeat in Korean history.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: News, Politics

Charisa Bossinakis
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