Controversial Issue about Alternative Military Service
Controversial Issue about Alternative Military Service
  • Reporter Park Min-young
  • 승인 2016.06.01 12:34
  • 댓글 0
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On May 17, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced its a plan for abolishing the system for alternative military service until 2023. The reason for this announcement is to solve insufficient military service resources problem. The MND stated that the current number of men aged 20 is approximately 350,000, but will decrease to 250,000 by 2023. This could create a deficit of 20,000 to 30,000 soldiers.
According to its plan, the number of people assigned in skilled industrial personnel will be 6,000 in 2018, reduced to 3,000 in 2020 and removed completely in 2023. Also, the system for technical research personnel who has master’s or doctor’s degree will reduce the number of people to 2,000 by 2020, 1,500 by 2021, 500 by 2022 and remove completely by 2023.
Since 1973, the alternative military service has been in effect to foster talented people in science and industrial circles. Domestic research institutes, universities, and venture companies have conducted research with considerably talented people without disrupting their career.
The MND is heavily criticized by many science and engineering institutes because this plan could weaken scientific and technologic competitiveness, create a manpower shortage in medium and small companies, and lead to other problems.
According to a survey conducted from Korea Industrial Technology Promotion Association, 90.4% among 317 medium and small companies are opposed to the MND’s plan. Among these companies, 13.7% even replied that this alternative system should increase its number of people assigned. Many question whether this plan can solve military resources problem. Other solutions through upgrading weapon systems and modernizing the MND system need to be explored.

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