Recently I read an article about MC Mong, a famous Korean rapper and tv star who recently tried avoiding Korea's draft. According to the article, South Korea's Draft: MC Catch-22 The Economist, MC Mong actually had healthy teeth removed so that he was unfit to join the army. Having lived in Korea for a while now, I was not surprised at all by Mong's actions.
Everyday at work my students tell me that the required two year service for all men is the most boring and wasteful time of their life. The men in specific complain that they barley do anything while in service, and are sometimes required to just sit and do nothing as part of their job. Most men serve after their second year in college at around age 22. So by the time most men graduate college in Korea they are between 26 and 27 years old!
|Courtesy of Luke Martin, www.roketship.com.|
To my surprise not only do the men dislike serving in the Korean army. The female students say that most girls have to break up with their boyfriends during this time. Most of them cannot handle the long distance relationships, and they fear that their boyfriends will cheat on them!
I realize that not all of the men serving in the Korean army have invaluable positions. However, if Korea has so many useless positions for a majority of their men they should strongly reconsider lowering the enlistment period or allowing alternative forms of service. The service is already being lowered to 18 months in 2014 according to the MMA (Military Manpower Administration).
The lowered enlistment time will make many young women happy as they will have an extra four to five months of time with their boyfriends!
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Gone Seoul Searching by Marie Webb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at email@example.com.