President Park Geun-hye expressed shock Friday after two handicapped people were rescued last week from a salt farm after years of slavery-like labor, saying she can't believe such an incident happened in the 21st century.
The two in their 40s, one of them mentally handicapped and the other visually handicapped, were coaxed with job promises into the salt farm on an island off the southwest coast in 2008 and 2012, respectively, and were forced to work like slaves with little sleep and no pay.
Attempts to escape were met by beatings.
Their ordeal came to light after one of them, the 40-year-old visually handicapped man who was identified only by his surname Kim, secretly mailed a letter to his mother calling for help. The mother alerted police and both of them were rescued last week.
"The recent salt farm slavery case is a truly shocking incident that cannot happen in the 21st century," Park said during a joint policy briefing by the justice and home affairs ministries. "Who would have ever imagined this kind of incident would happen?"
Park said the prosecution and police should look into whether there are similar cases on remote islands and make sure that similar incidents won't happen again. (Yonhap)