The barracks of the military camp, the military road of the youth of South Korea

At present, there are still more than 20 countries in the world that implement conscription, and South Korea is one of them. This is quite rare in developed countries. When South Korean men received the recruitment order, most of the reaction was to sigh “the end of the world is coming”, crying and shouting, and then drunk with friends and family to go to the eve of the camp, the degree of tragic is comparable to sitting in prison.

All men
According to the Korean Military Service Act, men must undergo a physical examination at the military service hall at the age of 19, and serve in the military between the ages of 20 and 30 according to the medical examination level and relevant regulations. The Military Affairs Department will send an advance notice of enlistment, but if there is a school attendance at that time, you can apply for an extension.

College boys generally leave school in their sophomore year and continue to complete their studies after serving two years of military service. This is mainly for the future development of the course and career planning. The first year of the university does not distinguish the department, you can enjoy a happy university life. When the soldiers return to resume their studies, they will retain more professional knowledge than the soldiers after graduation. Of course, Korean companies prefer to hire new graduates.

The physical examination of military service is divided into seven levels. Among them, except for those who have serious illness or mental disorders, they are exempted from military service. They must basically be soldiers. However, the length of service and training are different from those of their respective departments.

For example, if the fifth grade is a person who has had serious illness but can live independently, he needs to receive short-term military theoretical training, be incorporated into wartime labor service, and be dispatched in an emergency. The fourth grade is relatively healthy, but some projects may not meet the standard (overweight and thin). They need to be trained for five weeks and then dispatched to government agencies or public organizations to be “public service personnel” (somewhat similar to civil servants, Work 8 hours a day, free to work). The first to third grades are qualified candidates for the current service. After the new recruits are trained, they are respectively incorporated into the active army, navy and air force, and receive more strict military professional training.

In short, as long as there is no shortage of arms and broken legs, there is no special physical or psychological damage, and they must all serve in the military.

Of course, in addition to the aforementioned major diseases, there are several exceptions, such as the reduction or exemption of military service. For example, a family with special circumstances, a tattoo with more than 1/3 of the skin, a man with a doctoral degree or above, or a primary education level, or a person over 34 years old, will be exempted from military service. Of course, the North Koreans and the naturalized personnel are also exempted, and the orphans and transgenders are included in the wartime labor service. Parents or brothers and sisters have dereliction of duty, compiled into supplementary service, service for 6 months.

The more common exempt military personnel are those who make great contributions to the country, such as those who win gold medals in the Olympics or Asian Games. This offer began in 1973 with the regulations set by the Park Chung-hee government. The current system was established in the 1990s, and in the sports field, only the “Olympic champions and third runners-up or Asian Games champions” were given exemption from military service. In addition, the top two international art competitions, the first winners of the domestic art competition, and the inherited inheritance of important intangible cultural heritage, are included in the art class members who can receive preferential treatment.

In order to support the cutting-edge technology industry, the government also stipulates that some senior talents in science and engineering majors can enjoy the benefits of military exemption, but they need to take the test.

In principle, these people only need to receive 4 weeks of basic military training, but they must work for another 34 months in their field and use their expertise to participate in 544 hours of volunteer activities before they end their military service.

This is why the Korean national football team led by Sun Xingyu won the gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games. After all, Sun Xingyu, born in 1992, cannot get a gold medal in this session, and he will have to perform his military service obligations next year. However, with his successful realization of the Asian Games gold medal dream, in addition to Sun Xingyu’s shackles of military service obligations, 20 people of the entire football team enjoyed military service exemption.

Cruel military camp
Chinese folks have the saying that “good men are not soldiers”, and some Koreans also feel that two years of military service is a waste of time, especially in the golden age of life. The skills learned in the military are also difficult to apply in society. The closed life of two years will hinder career planning.

When the soldier’s monthly income is less than 150,000 won (equivalent to about 900 yuan), he will not be able to make ends meet. Many of the original artists who were originally in the middle of the day were interrupted because of military service. After returning, their reputation has already been worse than before. Rain and Yuan Bin are bloody examples because of their great decline in service. This led many Korean artists to fight for military service. In the early days, Song Chengxian purchased the patient’s urine for kidney disease, and hip-hop singer MC Dream pulled out 12 teeth to try to influence the test. In general, the cases of physical examinations and mental illnesses in the physical examinations are endless.

Korean men hate being a soldier, but Korean society is absolutely abhorrent to doing everything possible to avoid military service. This is a very strange sense of collective victimization. Everyone hopes that if they are not soldiers, they will be helpless. Therefore, if someone evades military service, the whole society will crowd out and cast aside him, especially for public figures. In 2002, singer Liu Chengjun gave up his nationality in South Korea and applied for a US green card to escape military service. He attracted public anger and was still prohibited from entering Korea by the Ministry of Justice.

Another reason for resisting military service is that the Korean army is known for its rigorous training. Entering the military camp may have no holidays for several months, and the recruits will be trained for nearly 100 days before they will usher in the first holiday. The troops are looking at the service and service units. It is normal to leave the camp once a few months. I can’t use my phone and computer, and I don’t often see TV, almost isolated from the outside world. The intense training of day and night, as well as the dangers of the special situation on the peninsula, put tremendous pressure on the people in the military camp.

South Korea pays attention to the class view, the lower level to the superior, the younger generation to the predecessors, there are many “rules” to obey. The rank concept of the troops is more strict. Unlike the outside society, which values ​​age and generation, the military looks at who is going to the army first, who is the senior, and who is the boss here.

It is very common for veterans to abuse new recruits in the name of “training and discipline.” Those who are enlisted in the final ranks have almost no good days. The schedule of the recruits will never be fixed, depending on the face of the seniors. Regardless of whether the requirements are unreasonable, if you fail to meet the standards or because of a dissatisfaction with the seniors, you may get a beaten and ankle.

In such a situation, the sergeant will generally not interfere. After all, everyone is like this. The old bird who bullied people today was once a robber. All of this is nominally to make the troops more disciplined and to protect the country. As a result, it leads to ridiculous acts such as insults, excessive discipline, forced corporal punishment, bullying, crowding, group shackles and even sexual assault.

The origin of the fear of military service, in addition to the service personnel worried about the death of the conflict in North Korea, but also because of the frequent operation of high-intensity military training, resulting in personal danger. Between 1980 and 1995, the death toll of South Korean soldiers was nearly 9,000, with an average annual rate of 580. This figure is very exaggerated, because in peacetime, the cause of death of soldiers is mainly accidents and suicides. In the case of accidents, there are 20 to 50 accidents happening almost every year.

According to statistics, suicide is the first cause of death in the military. In 2017, for example, 68% of deaths were suicide. Although the data also showed that the number of suicides in the military did decrease, from 67 in 2014 to 51 in 2017, almost everyone committed suicide every week… However, with the rise of human rights in the military, and the parents of the service Pressure on military administrators, the number of suicides in recent years has dropped from 40 in 2014 to 17 in 2017; the pressure of service has been transferred to military cadres, and from 2014 to 2017, military cadres committed suicide. The number has increased from 21 to 31.

Such a painful career as a soldier naturally led to a serious situation of the deserters of the Korean army. Due to service burnout, heterosexual problems, family problems, money motives, etc., hundreds of soldiers leave the army every year after a rare vacation, and they do not return in the sauna or Internet cafes. In 2017, there were 149 people. deserter.

And because the soldiers are poorly paid, the savings are quickly exhausted, and the deserters can only steal money to steal things, or they can only choose to commit suicide. The military management also understands this situation. Therefore, after the deserters are captured, they will not be punished as long as they express their willingness to continue their military service. The punishment is only closed. This has also caused the South Korean troops to escape from 1,102 soldiers in the past five years, but only 90 people were punished.

Military service road
Although the Cold War has long since ended, South Korea’s national strength has greatly surpassed that of North Korea. However, the national defense pressure of the “38th and Eighth Line” has made South Korea have not abolished the conscription system. Instead, it has maintained a large standing army and has become a minority of the “Cold War activation stone”.

Since the ancient Korean peninsula, there has been a conscription system. During the Joseon Dynasty, men aged 16 to 60 became the main source of military. In the modern sense, the conscription was established after the official establishment of the country in 1948. At that time, Article 39 of the Constitution stipulated that “the people should defend the country under the statutes” and formulate the military service law accordingly, but the number of people serving at that time was less than 100,000.

When the Korean War broke out in 1950, the South Korean side once adopted the method of pulling the strong and hiring 300,000 people to serve. The South Korean government also revised the military service law in 1951 and began to implement compulsory military service, which caused a sharp increase in the number of troops.

After the Korean War ceased, the United States considered reducing the South Korean army and abolishing the conscription system. However, because the situation on the Korean Peninsula remained the same, and the North was strong and the South was weak, the Li Chengyin government did not accept the US proposal, even expanding the army in 1954. 650,000 people.

After several changes, South Korea introduced the “replacement service system” in the early 1970s, such as the aforementioned public service personnel, as well as public health doctors, industrial technicians, voluntary firefighters, specialized researchers, and public welfare organizations. Legal officer, etc. Generally speaking, such alternative service thresholds are very high, and it is difficult to apply for graduation from a non-prestigious school.

When the military service period, there are different regulations in different periods and different military services. For example, after the armistice in 1953, the sea, land and air forces served for 36 months, but then generally showed a downward trend. In 2003, it was adjusted to 24 months for the Army, 27 months for the Air Force, 24 months for the Marine Corps, and 26 months for the Navy. In 2012, it was reduced to the current arms of all units for two or less years (Army and The Marine Corps is 21 months, the Air Force is 24 months, and the Navy is 23 months.

In recent years, the society has demanded attention to the training safety, emotional and stress management of military personnel, and exerted pressure on the government to reduce the number of suicides due to military service. In 2014, it has dropped to 101. In 2015, it dropped to 93 people under the hundred-digit number. The latest data is 75 in 2017. But on average, there are 1 to 2 deaths every week, and there is still much room for improvement in military management.

With the Korean government paying more and more attention to the military issue, Wen Hao proposed the “Defense Reform 2.0” program, which will be adjusted to 18 months for the Army and the Marine Corps in 2020, and 20 months and 22 months for the Navy and Air Force. In addition to reducing the length of service, soldiers are also allowed to go out after completing daily training in some areas (only meet with family members, seek medical treatment). In addition, in the future, it is planned to allow soldiers to enter and exit the Internet cafes after approval. It is expected to protect human rights in the military, maintain the rest time of soldiers, and reduce the pressure on military life.