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S. Korea to strengthen conscription rules to curb potential draft dodgers

All Headlines 11:24 July 09, 2010

By Kim Deok-hyun

SEOUL, July 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's military manpower agency said Friday it will strengthen conscription rules in a bid to curb potential draft dodgers who repeatedly delay their mandatory military service until they reach maximum drafting age.

Under the new regulations to take effect from next month, those who are subject to military service will be allowed to postpone conscription up to five times, the Military Manpower Administration said.

Currently, conscription can be postponed for an unrestricted number of times for reasons including illness, continuing education or preparations to take a state exam to become a public employee.

"Some people have been found to use the current regulation as a way to avoid military service because they would be exempted if they reach a certain age," an official for the administration said.

All physically fit men aged 18 to 30 must serve at least two years in the military, the key manpower in maintaining South Korea's defense against North Korea. The two Koreas are still technically at war, as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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