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Seoul to require criminal records of new foreign sailors

All News 10:00 July 26, 2016

SEOUL, July 26 (Yonhap) -- Foreign sailors seeking to work for South Korean ships may be required to submit their criminal records while their South Korean captains and colleagues will be required to undergo anti-racism education, the government said Tuesday.

The measures are largely aimed at preventing on-board crimes. They follow the recent alleged homicide of a South Korean captain and an engineer aboard a South Korean fishing boat by two Vietnamese fishermen.

Under the government measures, approved at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, all new foreign sailors seeking to work on a South Korean ship must submit a criminal background check.

Indictments in previous crimes may not directly prevent employment, but they may provide some reference to South Korean employers when deciding whether to hire a foreign sailor, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said in a press release.

South Korean sailors, on the other hand, will be subject to anti-racism and communication classes that will help create better working relations with their foreign peers.

South Korean captains will undergo similar education, but also be required to receive leadership education at the state-run Korea Institute of Maritime and Fisheries Technology.

"The steps are aimed at fostering a working environment, in which both South Korean and foreign sailors can work safely," the ministry said.

As of end-2015, there were 24,624 foreign sailors working on South Korean ships, accounting for 42 percent of the total workforce in the related industry.

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