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A South Korean Firefighter is holding a one-person protest in Gwanghwamun, Seoul

A South Korean Firefighter is holding a one-person protest in Gwanghwamun, Seoul

Chang Kwon Sung

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A South Korean Firefighter is holding a one-person protest in Gwanghwamun, Seoul. Photo credit: The Kyunghyang Shinmun

South Korean firefighters, in their fire suits, started single-person protests on June 7. A total of 119 firefighters are planning to organize a series of rallies in the days to come. The firefighters oppose the government’s move to create a new national safety agency and disband the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), following April’s ferry disaster, which left nearly 300 people dead or missing.

The firefighters are demanding that the fire and rescue service, currently run by each regional government, be undertaken by the central government. One of the firefighters who participated in protests complained about their poor working conditions, saying that they even had to buy pairs of fire-resistant gloves themselves.

A firefighter, staging a single-person rally in central Seoul, is holding a banner that reads, “No Money, No Safety? For Equal Fire Service, The Central Government Should Undertake Fire Service.”

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