South Korea is still technically at war with North Korea which is one of the main reasons mandatory military service still exists in the country.
Despite this, it seems that many people in South Korea are ready to do away with the compulsory conscription--or at least devise an appropriate substitute to replace it.
According to a recent Amnesty International Korea-commissioned public opinion poll conducted by Gallup Korea, 72% of people surveyed answered that they 'do not understand' how people can conscientiously refuse ROK's mandatory military service. Seven out of ten people who answered they 'do not understand' opined to introduce an alternate system to the mandatory military service so people would not refuse.
When questioned about the reasons on opting for an alternate system, 26% of the 70% answered, 'It's better than prison;' 16% answered, 'We must do our duties as a citizen;' 14% answered, 'We must assign a different opportunity;' 12% answered, 'It's a personal choice/human rights matter;' and 8% answered, 'Prison is too severe/cruel.'
The survey was merely conducted to test the public's opinion on whether alternatives to ROK's mandatory conscription should be devised, if at all. This does not mean the Korean government mean will actually form any concrete alternatives to legally replace mandatory military service. Perhaps, in time, the alternatives will come to fruition.