South Korea to sack officials accepting bribes

Seoul, Dec 28 (IANS) Any South Korean public official taking money or valuables worth more than 1 million won ($856) as bribes will be kicked out of office without exception from now on, the government announced on Monday.

The ministry of personnel management said the revised bill regarding disciplinary action against public servants will take effect from Tuesday, the Korea Herald reported.

It is the first time the government has stipulated the degree of punishment for bribed officials, depending on the amount of money received.

Previously, it used the guidelines from the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission as a reference.

According to the revised bill, public servants receiving 1 million won or more of cash or valuables in relation to their work can be fired or removed from office.

Those expelled cannot be hired as a public official for the next five years, while their pensions and retirement allowances both will also be cut by half, the ministry said.

However, if the bribe in relation to work was obtained from a person by coercion, the official can be expelled or dismissed even if the amount is less than 1 million won, it added.

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