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NSC reviews 'various options' over furlough of USFK workers

Diplomacy 17:40 March 26, 2020

SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top security officials conducted a review on Thursday of "various support options" for the country's employees at U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) bases, as they are at risk of being furloughed soon, Cheong Wa Dae said.

In the weekly session of the National Security Council (NSC) standing committee, they also checked the results of the latest round of negotiations with the United States on sharing the financial cost of the USFK and agreed to make utmost efforts for an early deal, it added.

The USFK has been sending an official notice of massive furloughs to thousands of workers, saying the measure would take effect on April 1 if there is no agreement in the defense cost-sharing talks.

The government is doing its best to strike a deal before then, reportedly considering contingency plans including special loans to help those affected.

The NSC members also decided to continue diplomatic efforts to protect South Korean nationals abroad and facilitate overseas activities by South Korean firms amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Chung Eui-yong, director of Cheong Wa Dae's national security office (Yonhap)

The meeting was presided over by Chung Eui-yong, director of national security at the presidential office, hours ahead of the Group of 20 extraordinary video summit on the international response to the virus.

They reaffirmed Seoul's commitment to closer ties with the international community in such fields as health care, the economy and trade in light of the virus crisis.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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