Korean businessmen, families panicking over CW crisis


Many Korean businessmen and their families are panicking because they are also affected by the contract worker crisis.

Because of the confusion, the Korean Association of Saipan is organizing a dialogue with its legal counsel, Janet H. King, with the affected Koreans on the island.

Republic of Korea consular assistant Won Jun Lee told Saipan Tribune yesterday that the forum will be held at the Korean Association of Saipan office in San Antonio this Saturday at 5pm.

King will explain about the law and the contract worker (CW1) situation, then will answer questions, said Lee who is also a member of the board of directors of the Korean Association of Saipan.

Lee said he and another interpreter will attend the dialogue and that all other nationalities who are interested are free to come.

Lee said they decided to organize this dialogue because many Koreans, mostly those with children, are panicking and asking questions.

“Many people don’t know what’s going on and what to do because of the English barrier,” Lee said.

An unknown number of children whose parents have permits expiring before Sept. 30, 2016, will be forced to leave the CNMI, after the federal government announced recently that it had reached its cap of 12,999 CW permits for foreign workers and that no more applications would be accepted for fiscal year 2016.

Lee cited that the Korean Association of Saipan president Hong Kyun Kim has more than 100 employees, including locals, and that many of those are affected by the CW crisis.

Kim owns businesses such as a construction company, apartment units, hardware, and others. He also owns the Korean newspaper, Saipan Times.

Lee said there are 2,000 Koreans on Saipan and most of them have various businesses.

Lee said the Koreans are worried not only for their families, but also the future of their businesses because they have many affected CW employees.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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