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Progressive presidential candidate pledges higher wages for troops

Sim Sang-jeung, the presidential candidate of the minor progressive Justice Party, speaks at a meeting at the National Assembly compound in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)
Sim Sang-jeung, the presidential candidate of the minor progressive Justice Party, speaks at a meeting at the National Assembly compound in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)
Sim Sang-jeung, the presidential candidate of the minor progressive Justice Party, pledged Thursday to raise troops' wages to the minimum wage level by 2030.

Currently, the monthly wage for sergeants is set at 676,000 won ($576) for next year, which is half the 2017 minimum wage of 1.35 million won.

Next year's minimum hourly wage has been set at 9,160 won, which translates to a monthly wage of 1.91 million won.

Sim said at the National Assembly that she also plans to let troops use their mobile phones at any time, including during work hours, and choose between military hospitals and civilian hospitals when being treated for an injury suffered on duty.

For military officers, she pledged to raise their monthly housing allowance from 80,000 won to 150,000 won and expand their accommodation facilities, while also increasing their pay for night duty.

"The treatment received by our service members is a reflection of our society's standards," Sim said. "When our service members receive proper treatment, our national security will grow stronger." (Yonhap)

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