SEOUL-- The chief of the International Labor Organization (ILO) said Wednesday that there is a need to "quickly" address the legal status of South Korea's outlawed teachers and public servants unions, urging the government to work hard to resolve the issue.

In a meeting with labor union leaders, Guy Ryder, director-general of the ILO, said South Korea should resolve the legal spat over the progressive unions regardless of the ratification of the ILO's key rights convention by the country.

In 2013, the Korean government outlawed the Korea Teachers and Education Workers Union (KTU), as it did not accept the government's prohibition on fired teachers becoming members.

The government also denied legal status to the Korean Government Employees' Union for the same reason.

Ryder said the ILO has a firm stance on what the South Korean government should do in regards to the legal status of these two groups and that he had delivered a clear message to President Moon Jae-in.

Ryder is in Seoul to attend a forum on labor.

The ILO chief then revealed that his organization will continue to press the South Korean government to ratify the international body's key rights convention.

Ryder took office in 2012 as the ILO's chief for a five-year term and was re-elected to head the U.N. agency until 2022.

Source: Yonhap News Agency