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Korail affiliate to get license next week, as nationwide raile strike enters day 12

Updated: 2013-12-20 PM 2:28:50 (KST)
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The nationwide rail strike has rumbled into its twelfth day with striking workers and the state-run Korea Railroad Corporation failing to reach a compromise on the establishment of a new rail operator.
Workers are protesting KORAIL'S move to set up an affiliate that would run a new bullet train route, which they see as a step toward privatization but which KORAIL denies.
The Transport Ministry said it will issue a license for the new rail service operator next week, backtracking slightly from an earlier plan to issue the license today.
The strike has crippled railway services nationwide, hitting cargo train services the hardest.
Rail freight operations are running at 39 percent of normal levels and passenger services are at 56 percent and 61 percent for the Saemaeul and Mugunghwa trains.
At least 9-hundred-90 of the roughly 75-hundred unionists have returned to work following an ultimatum issued by KORAIL to be back on the job by Thursday.

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