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South Korea’s Leader Pushes to Make Firing Easier

Agen Sabung Ayam

SEOUL—The prospect of fresh road protests listed here this 7 days highlights the struggle South Korea’s president faces in striving to drive via labor legal guidelines aimed at boosting employment and revitalizing a slowing economy.

Rigid labor rules in South Korea are main road blocks to revving up growth, economists say, but also amid the most politically tough concerns to tackle. One of the hardest challenges: dismantling a lifestyle of jobs-for-lifestyle developed adhering to Planet War II that helped the nation rebound from poverty.

In the U.S. and a lot of other industrialized nations, labor rules have loosened in recent many years as union membership has declined, making it possible for businesses to employ the service of and hearth more easily. But in South Korea, tight constraints on releasing workers imply firms are more reluctant to consider on long term workers.

All around 40% of staff at non-public businesses in South Korea are momentary or outsourced staff, in accordance to federal government figures, amongst the maximum prices in the developed planet. Higher levels of non-normal employees drag on economic expansion due to reduce efficiency and as buyers worried about job security devote less, economists say.

Nearby businesses and international companies are cautious of investment that needs new personnel due to the fact of labor laws, in accordance to Steve McKinney, president of Seoul-primarily based McKinney Consulting.

“Foreign businesses have a tendency to feel about creating a tiny footprint and hiring sparingly,” he stated.

Those on the political left in South Korea, meanwhile, want much more protections for momentary workers relatively than minimizing them for permanent staff.

South Korea ranks 106th in flexibility for employing and firing, in accordance to the Planet Financial Discussion board.

The lack of everlasting positions in South Korea drove unemployment amid these aged fifteen to 29 earlier mentioned 10%, the maximum level in fifteen several years, earlier this year. It remains about double the general jobless fee, as young task seekers struggle to find entire-time operate. In a reflection of that anxiousness, a tv cleaning soap opera about a young Korean who struggles to find a long term occupation became a megahit before this year.

In latest months, President Park Geun-hye has narrowed in on loosening labor limits as a priority as she tries to bounce-start off faltering programs to foster new organizations in provider sector areas this kind of as schooling, wellness and info technology. South Korea’s economic development is envisioned about 2.7% this 12 months, according to the central bank, around 50 % of expansion amounts in the nineteen eighties, as it stays dependent on the fortunes of the massive companies that driven breakneck growth soon after the war but have sputtered in the very last couple of many years.

In a cabinet meeting on Thursday, Ms. Park stated adjustments to labor regulations are required to tackle one more problem to South Korea’s financial development: ultralow birthrates as Koreans progressively hold off relationship. “Young people simply cannot even believe about relationship when they do not have secure work and incomes,” she stated. The country’s birthrate is about 1.2 young children per woman, considerably under the charge required to maintain the inhabitants secure with no immigration.

Before this 12 months, the main opposition social gathering backed Ms. Park’s ruling social gathering to move laws to enhance labor flexibility and make other adjustments, this kind of as ending a method in which more mature personnel are paid out more than young equivalents. Even so, political infighting kept the laws from getting approved by the National Assembly, a required step in purchase for it to become regulation.

One of the two primary cross-business union teams in South Korea coordinated mass rallies against new rules in November and previously this month in Seoul. Around sixty,000 joined the Nov. 14 demonstration, which turned violent when some protesters attacked police with steel pipes and ladders. One protester stays in a coma following being knocked down by spray from a police water cannon.

On Dec. 10, Han Sang-gyun, the head of the union team, was arrested on expenses connected to the protest right after emerging from hiding in a Buddhist temple for 24 days. The group, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, argues that new labor legal guidelines will aid massive conglomerates to hearth its members. Protest leaders say they strategy to maintain further nationwide demonstrations on Saturday.

Impression polls display general public assist for loosening labor restrictions. One survey in September showed more than 70% of Koreans agreed with the proposed new legal guidelines.

Further parliamentary classes are planned for later this month but passage of the bills is unclear. Government officers say they will continue to press for the modifications to deal with the social and economic pressures designed by labor market rigidity.

“The economic system may not collapse if the labor legislation fails this time. But the wounds triggered by the aged paradigm will keep on to fester,” said Chang Hong-geun, a senior economist at point out consider-tank Korea Labor Institute.

–Kwanwoo Jun contributed to this post.

Publish to Alastair Gale at alastair.gale@wsj.com


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News Analysis: For France, an Alliance Against ISIS May Be Easier Said Than Done Agen Sabung Ayam

Agen Sabung Ayam

Photo

President François Hollande of France, center, with Prime Minister Manuel Valls at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Wednesday. Mr. Hollande is trying to show diplomatic initiative although he under pressure at home to act strongly against the Islamic State. Credit Charles Platiau/Reuters

PARIS — By attacking civilian targets well beyond its territory, the Islamic State has seemingly accomplished what diplomats had failed to do. Suddenly, the international order has been scrambled, drawing the United States, Russia and France together in a possible alliance against the terrorist group.

Each of the three longtime powers now has its own reasons for wanting to destroy the Islamic State after the pitiless attacks on civilians in Paris and the downing of a Russian passenger jet carrying vacationers. President Obama has provided intelligence to facilitate French airstrikes and suggested he was open to more cooperation with Russia.

But so far, that alliance remains largely theoretical. Even as President François Hollande of France takes on the role of bridge builder with back-to-back trips next week to Washington and Moscow, powerful centrifugal forces are still pulling the would-be partners apart as competing national interests challenge efforts to translate that newly shared aspiration into a sustained collaboration over time.

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Graphic: Untangling the Overlapping Conflicts in the Syrian War

Mr. Obama and President Vladimir V. Putin harbor fundamental disagreements over a host of issues that have not been dissolved by the Paris attacks. Dividing them are the Russian annexation of Crimea and its meddling in eastern Ukraine, Moscow’s efforts to demonize Washington and undermine confidence in NATO’s commitment to collective defense, and the Kremlin’s support of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.

“It’s certainly a good thing for us and a good thing for France if we have a more coordinated approach toward these airstrikes in Syria,” said Karen Donfried, a former White House adviser to Mr. Obama who is now the president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. “But how committed Russia really is about taking on the Islamic State, I don’t think any of us really knows. I remain really skeptical that our interests converge here.”

Strobe Talbott, the president of the Brookings Institution and a former deputy secretary of state, said any real alliance would require a seismic change in the Russians’ approach toward Syria, where they say they are trying to fight terrorism but appear more bent on preserving Mr. Assad.

Photo

President Obama and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia met at the United Nations General Assembly in September. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

“Maybe it’s getting through to them,” Mr. Talbott said. “They keep talking about being part of a solution. But they talk the talk of being part of the solution and they walk the walk of being part of the problem.”

Just how complicated assembling such a coalition would be was underscored Wednesday when French diplomats at the United Nations began discussions with colleagues on the Security Council on a draft measure authorizing force against the Islamic State. The French ambassador, François Delattre, described it as “short, strong and focused on the fight against our common enemy.”

But just as France prepared to share its measure with council diplomats, Russia floated a proposal of its own, resurrecting a draft resolution that went nowhere earlier this fall because it insisted on cooperating with the government of countries affected by terrorism — in Syria’s case, with Mr. Assad. Vitaly I. Churkin, the Russian ambassador, said failing to work with the government “is definitely weakening the possibility of a joint fight against terrorists.”

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Aides said privately that Mr. Obama was skeptical, but in meetings in Turkey, the Philippines, Austria and Paris over the last few days, he and his secretary of state, John Kerry, have held their reservations and broached the possibility of Russia and the United States working together to defeat the Islamic State.

After meeting with Mr. Putin last weekend in Turkey, Mr. Obama said in Manila on Wednesday that Russia had been “a constructive partner” in talks in Vienna seeking a road map for a cease-fire in the Syrian civil war that has given rise to the Islamic State. But for further cooperation, he said, Mr. Putin must direct less at the Syrian rebels supported by the United States and more at the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

“The problem has been in their initial military incursion into Syria, they have been more focused on propping up President Assad,” Mr. Obama said. If Mr. Putin “shifts his focus and the focus of his military to what is the principal threat, which is ISIL, then that is what we want to see.”

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Graphic

At least a dozen countries have had attacks since the Islamic State, or ISIS, began to pursue a global strategy in the summer of 2014.

Mr. Hollande, under enormous pressure at home after the attacks, is trying to take the diplomatic initiative. Sensing a chance for rapprochement, he plans to travel to Washington on Tuesday to meet with Mr. Obama, and then to Moscow to meet with Mr. Putin. Mr. Hollande said on Wednesday that he wants to forge “a large coalition” to act “decisively” against the Islamic State.

In pursuing such a coalition, Mr. Hollande was careful not to ask the NATO alliance to come to France’s defense under Article 5, which obligates members to aid one another in case of attack. That article has been invoked only once, after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Given Mr. Obama’s adamant resistance to putting large numbers of American ground forces in Syria or Iraq, a French diplomat said on Wednesday that Paris was unwilling to embarrass Mr. Obama by “asking for the impossible.”

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How ISIS Expanded Its Threat

Instead, to broaden France’s diplomatic support, Mr. Hollande invoked an unusual article in the Lisbon Treaty governing the European Union. Article 42.7 states that if a member is subject to “armed aggression on its territory” other members have an “obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power” consistent with their obligations to NATO.

Asked on Twitter why France invoked the European Union treaty and not the NATO charter, Gérard Araud, the French ambassador to Washington, wrote that one reason was “the dialogue with Russia.” The implication was that Russia is hostile toward NATO and therefore invoking the alliance’s aid might be provocative toward Moscow.

The European Union countries voted unanimously to support France, but the treaty does not commit them to military action and intelligence sharing is already well developed. No other European country has been willing to confront Islamic radicalism as the French have, at home and in Mali, Iraq and Syria.

Even Britain, still bruised from its participation in the Iraq invasion of 2003, has not been willing to strike inside Syria. Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to seek approval from Parliament before action in Syria and to proceed only if he has “a clear majority.” The election of Jeremy Corbyn, the new hard-left Labour Party leader, has not made that easier.

The United States, Europe and Russia have had moments since the Cold War when their interests converged. Walter Slocombe, a former under secretary of defense, recalled that the American and Russian militaries worked together in Bosnia and Kosovo. In Bosnia, he said, “it worked out O.K., but that was a different Russia and an almost totally benign environment.”

The Obama administration is suspicious that beyond bolstering Mr. Assad, Russia’s real goal in Syria is taking attention off Ukraine — in effect, trading the status quo for collaboration in the Middle East. “Are we willing to give up on Ukraine?” asked Ivo H. Daalder, Mr. Obama’s former ambassador to NATO and now president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “I’m worried that we fall in this trap.”

Beyond the United States, Russia and Europe, there are other players in Syria, particularly Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Mr. Kerry has worked to forge a consensus among them. But as Mr. Daalder said, “except for France and the United States, at this point no one thinks going after ISIS is the first priority.”

Without that, he said, “I don’t see this as a new coalition.”

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