SEOUL (Reuters) - A South Korean woman has been offered a little over $4 in government compensation for the death of her brother during the 1950-53 Korean War, embarrassing officials who say they were bound by an out-dated law.
The woman was two years old when her brother was killed in combat in 1950, but never knew of his existence until told of his death by a neighbor, local media reported, adding the children’s mother has suffered from dementia.
The family had not received any compensation until April when the soldier’s sister was awarded 5,000 won ($4.33) under a law in effect during the war.
The presidential Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission has called the decision “incomprehensible” and urged the government to review it.
“We hope that this case will lead to forming a system of adequately compensating the families of Korean War veterans who continue to live with deep pain,” the commission said.
The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs and the Defense Ministry said a new law was needed to pay more or adjust the sum to incorporate inflation and interest.
Nearly 140,000 South Korean soldiers were killed in combat and as many as 130,000 are missing in action according to the Defense Ministry.
Reporting by Seongbin Kang, writing by Jack Kim; Editing by Jeremy Laurence