NAMYANGJU, March 20 (Korea Bizwire) — On Saturday morning, a prayer service was held at Bongsunsa Temple in Namyangju, for a Thai worker who tragically died after working for 10 years at a pig farm in Pocheon, Gyeonggi Province.
The solemn one-and-a-half-hour ceremony was attended by the worker’s wife, the family of the farmer who abandoned the body, and dignitaries such as lawmaker Choi Chun-sik and Pocheon Mayor Baek Young-hyun.
The worker, identified only as Mr. A, passed away last month due to health problems. His body was discovered near the pig farm, leading to a social and diplomatic scandal.
Further investigations revealed that the farmer and his family hired undocumented foreign workers, leading them to abandon Mr. A’s body to avoid legal repercussions.
Fortunately, the Pocheon Social Security Council intervened to facilitate an amicable agreement between Mr. A’s family and the farm’s owner.
As a result, the farmer agreed to pay for the deceased worker’s funeral expenses, and both parties attended the prayer service together.
Notably, Mr. A’s wife opted for a peaceful settlement rather than pursuing legal action, having been aware of her husband’s close relationship with the farmer’s family. It was confirmed that there were no wage delays or harsh behavior towards the worker.
The Pocheon City Social Security Council also provided humanitarian assistance, including funeral arrangements and housing for the bereaved family, and organized fundraising efforts.
The worker’s remains were cremated at Wolje Crematory, and the urn was temporarily laid to rest at a Thai temple in Uijeongbu. Mr. A’s wife is scheduled to return to Thailand with the urn on March 21, after the wake.
The Pocheon Community Council is set to deliver the donations raised by Mr. A’s wife to the designated recipients.
An official from the council expressed gratitude for the amicable settlement and emphasized that Mr. A and the farmer’s family had a positive relationship, contrary to media reports.
The tragic incident highlighted the challenges facing migrant workers in South Korea and the urgent need to address undocumented labor practices.
Notably, Thailand had a special relationship with Pocheon, contributing to its reconstruction after the 1950-53 Korean War.
The country was the first in Asia to respond to hostilities between the two Koreas, deploying more than 6,000 land, sea, and air troops during the Korean War, who were stationed in the Yeongbuk-myeon area of Pocheon until 1972 after the armistice.
Jerry M. Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)