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misdemeanors-punishment

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SEOUL, March 11 (Yonhap) -- The Cabinet will approve a bill on Monday that regulates certain inappropriate social behaviors such as stalking and public indecency by fining offenders, officials said.

During the meeting to be presided over by President Park Geun-hye later in the day, the Cabinet plans to endorse an enforcement ordinance that adds 28 acts to the list of misdemeanors punishable in the country. A relevant revised law was passed last year.

Under the revision, those caught stalking for the first time will face a fine of 80,000 won (US$72.7). Intruding into empty homes, concealing weapons and making prank calls, among others, are also fineable offenses.

"The revised law will forbid the act of harassing a person with persistent phone calls, e-mails or letters, even if the victim is not physically threatened or has not been assaulted by the stalker," said an officer at the National Police Agency.

The authorities will also levy a 50,000 won fine on those caught for public indecency, using public transportation without payment and refusing to be fingerprinted, while those who illegally publish publications, make false ads, obstruct duties and sell illegal tickets will face the heaviest fine term for the misdemeanors of 160,000 won.

The law is expected to go into effect starting March 22, according to the police agency.

Meanwhile, the meeting will be the first set to be presided over by the new President Park who took office on Feb. 25. While the Cabinet meeting is supposed to be held on a weekly basis on Tuesdays, Park has been without a new Cabinet as the parliamentary confirmation process for her ministerial nominees has been delayed with her government reorganization proposal being stuck in the National Assembly.

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