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President fires unfairly hired casino employees

Mar 16,2018
President Moon Jae-in ordered the firing of all 226 Kangwon Land employees who landed their jobs through unfair processes and due to their connections with powerful figures.

“President Moon Jae-in today ordered the government to take swift and thorough measures against employment-related corruption at public organizations, best known through the Kangwon Land case,” Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told a press briefing Thursday.

Kim added that the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, which controls Kangwon Land, will immediately begin the process of dismissing the 226 employees.

The move comes months after a government probe late last year uncovered unfair hiring practices at the country’s only casino that welcomes Korean gamblers. Kangwon Land didn’t take any measures to punish the guilty even after prosecutors and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy uncovered evidence of tampered interviews and crooked application evaluations.

The unfairly hired individuals were only relieved of their duties on Feb. 5, but still retained their status as employees of the casino because they had yet to be indicted.

Transparent hiring has been one of President Moon’s biggest crusades since coming to office. During a senior secretariat meeting in October, he called for thorough investigations into all public institutions to uncover unfair hiring practices, and reaffirmed his determination to eradicate such wrongful practices in his New Year’s address.

Prosecutors in charge of the Kangwon Land case began raiding the homes and offices of two lawmakers and a senior government official alleged to have been involved in the unfair hiring.

The prosecutors announced last Thursday that they were raiding the offices of two Liberty Korea Party lawmakers, Yeom Dong-yeol and Kweon Seong-dong. Rep. Yeom is facing allegations that he requested the casino’s human resources department to hire 46 applicants in 2012. When 19 of them failed to get in, Yeom requested their hiring again, landing seven of them jobs a few months later.

Last Saturday, prosecutors raided the home of a high-ranking official in the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Tourism who allegedly asked Kangwon Land to hire four individuals in return for helping the casino get approval to build facilities.

BY KIM EUN-JIN [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]