Troubled Ssangyong has said it will call in riot police to end the occupation of its plant by striking workers unless they disperse by early next week.

Thousands of workers armed with metal pipes and firebombs have been occupying the carmaker's plant at Pyeongtaek, 70 km (44 miles) south of Seoul, in protest against planned mass redundancies.

"Unless striking workers disperse voluntarily by Monday, we will take all possible legal action," Lee Yoo-Il, one of the two court-appointed managers supervising the automaker's bankruptcy process, told journalists.


"This means we will call in riot police," he said.

In a bizarre twist, there are also rumours in Korea that an Arab investor is interested in buying Ssangyong, denied by the government - which would have to be notified of interest by the Korea Development Bank.

Ssangyong, which has been under US-style bankruptcy protection since February, said last month it will cut 2,646 jobs, or 36 percent of its total workforce.

In May, the Seoul Central District Court said Ssangyong is worth saving rather than liquidating, but warned it could still liquidate the ailing carmaker if it fails to make the job cuts as promised.