Korea's Kim: War On Two Fronts

Both labor and the chaebol are ferociously resisting reform

It was a close call. On Feb. 12, Korea's militant labor unions were just hours away from calling a general strike that would have crippled the country's economy. The idea was to force President-elect Kim Dae Jung to drop his plans to make layoffs legal. At the last minute, labor leaders called off the strike, when the lack of public support became evident. Yet even after backing off, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions made it clear that it would continue to fight any moves to shed workers.

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