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Hwang Hyeon-dong lives in a 6.6-square-meter (71-square-foot) cubicle near his university campus in Seoul, which comes with a shared bathroom and kitchen plus all the rice he can eat, that he rents for 350,000 won ($302) a month.

The sparsely furnished rooms, in premises called goshi-won, were previously mostly used by less well-off students to temporarily cut themselves off from the outside world while they studied for civil service job tests.

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