Military to lower bar for active duty conscripts

Sep 30, 2019, 08:41 am

print page small font big font

facebook share

tweet share

South Korean young men participate in an eyesight test during their physical examination for conscription at the South Korean Military Manpower Administration on January 28, 2019 in Seoul./ Source: Yonhap

By AsiaToday reporter Woo Sung-min

The South Korean military has begun to revise related regulations to lower the physical standards for active service, as a lack of military resources is expected due the country’s rapidly declining population.

The military authorities are currently considering easing related regulations to increase the rate of those that are suitable for active service in the medical exams, according to the Ministry of National Defense and the Military Manpower Administration on Sunday.

The defense ministry plans to loosen physical requirements and standards in some categories first and then continue to take steps to gradually further loosen the requirements. This is because a large number of complaints may occur if the requirements of many categories are changed at once.

First of all, the government will first consider ways to use a new set of medical standards that are less strict than those currently applied, such as those on body mass index and high blood pressure.

The new standards for medical examination are expected to be finalized in early 2021.

With the introduction of the new standards for medical examination, the rate of young men eligible for mandatory military service, which has experienced a decade of decline, is expected to increase again. 
In October 2015, the defense ministry strengthened the standards for active duty conscripts while easing the standards for reservists in order to refine the active duty troops and resolve the issue of military recruitment. 

Before strengthening the standards for active duty conscripts, nearly 90 percent of young men were required to fulfill the mandatory service and join the armed forces as active duty soldiers. However, the rate dropped by one to two percentage points following the measure. However, the number of reservists increased to 12.7 percent from 4.8 percent.

The government is also considering various measures to cope with the shrinking population, such as using more high-tech equipment and enlisting female soldiers and naturalized Korean citizens.

The number of men in their 20s is expected to decline to less than 250,000 after 2022, compared to some 350,000 in 2017. In this case, an average of 20,000 to 30,000 active duty conscript resources is expected to fall short after 2023.

#active duty #lower bar #population #military #defense ministry 
Copyright by Asiatoday