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An pledges to introduce sabbatical year for laborers

Presidential hopeful An Hee-jung on Thursday pledged to grant a year of sabbatical leave to all citizens who have worked for 10 consecutive years.

“Those who work for 10 years should be able to go on a yearlong holiday,” South Chungcheong Province Gov. An of the Democratic Party of Korea said in a press conference at the National Assembly.

“Citizens should be able to pursue education, leisure and their lives without having to walk on eggshells around their workplaces.”

Presidential hopeful South Chungcheong Province Gov. An Hee-jung of the Democratic Party of Korea (Yonhap)
Presidential hopeful South Chungcheong Province Gov. An Hee-jung of the Democratic Party of Korea (Yonhap)

An also pledged to remedy the nation’s record of having among the world’s longest working hours, by extending statutory paid holidays to 25 days a year.

In the press conference, An unveiled four other pledges as well, promising to bring the nation together.

“I will prevent a possible divide in society by regularizing all-party national security meetings, and also hold Cabinet meetings with regional governments to bring the nation together,” An said.

To promote balanced regional development, he vowed to get rid of tuition fees for the nine public national universities -- most of which are located in provinces.

He would also relocate the presidential office, National Assembly, Supreme Court and Supreme Prosecutor’s Office, all of which are in Seoul, to the new administrative town of Sejong City.

It is the first briefing session An has held to provide details on his policies. He has often been criticized for his abstract proposals.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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