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South Korea eyes business suspension instead of jail for some business violations

South Korea is considering the abolishment of criminal punishment for business transgressions. First Vice Minister of Economy and Finance Bang Ki-sun said that provisions for criminal punishment have been regarded as a factor that hampers competitiveness of local businesses, and discourages foreign businesses operating in the country. Before seeking criminal punishment, the government plans to issue administrative sanctions in the first stage. According to the Finance Ministry and the Justice Ministry, the targets are 32 provisions on criminal punishment in 17 laws, which are specified by 10 relevant ministries. The two ministries said there is an urgent need to revise the 32 provisions, which have little relevance to people’s lives and safety. They said they would seek business suspensions instead of jail terms or fines.

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