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What do Korean people think about an alternative to mandatory military service?

By jubilantj   Tuesday, May 10, 2016   31,343   121   122
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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.


SEE ALSO: The top 10 foreign cities that South Koreans visited the most in 2016 revealed


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.

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    Rebel_Patriot Wednesday, May 11, 2016

    A professional military force requires incentives and better living conditions to attract and retain volunteers. That means offering free or subsidized higher education and training. It means significant increases in pay and bonuses, healthcare, and better quality housing and food. More intense and comprehensive training and professional opportunities would be needed for steady career advancement. And don't forget the families of service members... housing, education, and healthcare for spouses and children. The pathetic and disgraceful current reality illustrated by the NK mine incident last year (when one of the SK soldiers wounded by the NK mine had to pay for his own treatment) would no longer be possible. Is the Korean government and taxpayer ready to foot the bill for all this? Military service isn't like any other job in society... you are being asked to put your health, body, and life on the line and endure far more misery and discomfort than any civilian job requires. Can't attract people to volunteer for it on the cheap and expect quality motivated professionals.

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    daFoolio Wednesday, May 11, 2016

    EVERY guy i know that went to army all had the same reaction... they REALLY didn't want to go... but when they finished, they were glad they didn't and very proud of it.  some guys don't time things right... and when they go late... they have finished school... then find it hard to find a job because they've been gone for 2yrs... its conflicting.  and male society looks down on you if you haven't gone to the army... its a form of camaraderie during office talks.  they should go.... but yes, it can be shortened or alternatives should be offered.

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    ilikeJB Wednesday, May 11, 2016

    I don't agree with firing guns but I also don't think non-Koreans have any say with a country that is still billed at war with each other. NK and SK only called for temporary truce and still haven't resolve anything since the 60's. There is still high chances that a war could happen between the two country. Steven Yeun is a Korean American and he felt emotional when he sat in the NK's side of the shared office between NK and SK. There is this nationalistic problem between both side that is not known to international audience, so I don't think it is best for anyone who is not Korean to speak freely about it as if they know anything about it.

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    whatever101 Wednesday, May 11, 2016

    ok just dont come crying to the US again when u lose Seoul in 3 days, AGAIN.

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    growlin whatever101 Wednesday, May 11, 2016

    It was partially the US's fault the war even started in the first place. The US just peaced the fuck out after leaving South Korea ill-equipped and not ready to fight a war. However they did come back later because they realized the gravity of the situation.

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    bangeryun94 whatever101 Wednesday, May 11, 2016

    Actually the Americans were pushed all the way back to Busan. But yeah, thanks to them we're now neatly divided at the 38th parallel. We have given the Americans our most scenic and beautiful part of Seoul, Yonsan to do with as they see fit. Apparently massage parlours and brothels are what they see fit the most. The Americans are NEVER going to leave Korea but thankfully most of them don't venture out beyond Itaewon. To hear the Americans tell it, THEY run Korea.

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    uhhidk whatever101 Wednesday, May 11, 2016

    lol what is someone like you doing on a website that is about south korean culture if you're going to hate on them like this

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    k_kid Wednesday, May 11, 2016

    While it's good to be prepared for war just in case. Koreans born in Korea tend to be quite immature (not ALL obviously, but many of them are). They tend to mature after military service honestly.

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    Naruta Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    If NK has nuclear weapons, and uses them, you won't need any soldiers, because there won't be any Korean peninsula afterwards. So what's the use of wasting anybody's time and money to teach people how to shoot a gun or hide in the bushes? Do some social service instead, like helping out in hospitals or old folks homes, that will probably have an effect for the whole life.

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    R_Kai_Chennn Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    But after the 2 years, wouldn't the people just go back to a regular lifestyle? That would make those 2 years useless and most times damaging to what they plan on doing for a long time. Or are there other factors involved

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    bangeryun94 R_Kai_Chennn Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    There are other factors involved. Most go right out of high school.

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    R_Kai_Chennn bangeryun94 Wednesday, May 11, 2016

    Yep it's just hard for people like young trainees debuting. Does the government give you any aid after finishing the 2 years?

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    uhhidk Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    Its modern day era, North Korea wouldn't dare honestly full out attack South Korea considering the amount of allies South Korea has. They know themselves that they would never win the war. Having the South Korean guys enroll in the military to learn training is a good safeguard. But 21 months is way to long. I might be wrong but learning basic military skills like learning how to shoot a gun, basic combat skills, and etc shouldn't take 21 months to do.

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    Rebel_Patriot uhhidk Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    An unpredictable ultra-authoritarian rogue regime commanded by a 30 something year old megalomaniac hereditary dictator is in command of the world's largest concentration of artillery which is ranged in on half your population and a huge chunk of your economic infrastructure. Add a growing threat of a first strike nuke attack on Seoul, and are you willing to bet 25 million lives on that assumption? The SK gov't sure isn't.

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    Itismoot Rebel_Patriot Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    I don't think NK will easily just drop a nuke on SK if they did with SK's size I don't think there will be soldiers left to defend it's not very big.

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    uhhidk Rebel_Patriot Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    @rebel_patriot I'm not saying the military idea is bad. If you read my post I said that its a good safeguard. But lets be real, North Korea does not have "the world's largest concentration of artillery". America has the biggest concentration of artillery. I would think someone with an american flag as their icon would know that. Also North Korea might be a dictatorship but its definitely not absolute like ancient times. Their government wouldn't go to war just cause their leader said to.

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    MitchTatsuoka Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    Honestly, it's for the country. It's actually better than getting into the actual war where the whole nation's affected. It's not all about K-POP. We have to understand that this is an aspect of the country where the Government tries to keep everyone safe. That being said, it means utilizing the population to protect the nation. So I agree in whatever we have now. It's better than nothing.

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    Nadjeortez Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    How i feel is North korea hasnt done anything so far and probably wont. So why make it mandatory service. But then what if they do and you have no army. Its a tricky situation with a nut job of a country above you,.

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    bangeryun94 Nadjeortez Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    We tried that. It didn't work out as well as we thought it would. We are very small and everyone must do their part. Frankly I think the women should serve just like the fellas.

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    growlin Nadjeortez Wednesday, May 11, 2016

    The government was about to slowly start minimizing the time required to serve and possible abolish military service further down the road. However, in 2010 when the Norht Koreans blew up a South Korean ship and killed about 40-60 sailors, the thoughts were quickly dispersed.

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