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South Korea doctors' strike sets up political test for Yoon

As dispute intensifies, analysts say president's goal is electoral gains in April

Medical personnel walk outside Seoul National University hospital in Seoul on March 5. (Photo by Ahn Seong-bok)

SEOUL -- Since taking office, South Korea's president has been beleaguered by a sluggish economy and a corruption scandal involving his wife. Ahead of his first major electoral test next month, he may have engineered a sorely needed political victory by taking on an unlikely foe: his country's overworked doctors.

The administration of President Yoon Suk Yeol last month announced plans to increase the number of spots at medical schools by 2,000 -- a roughly 67% increase. Yoon argues that the boost is necessary to solve long-standing problems such as shortages of practitioners in rural areas and in certain areas of medicine such as pediatrics.

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