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Gov't team launched to craft alternative forms of military service

All Headlines 10:36 August 02, 2018

SEOUL, Aug. 2 (Yonhap) -- The ministries of defense and justice and the military manpower agency launched a joint team Thursday to craft alternative forms of military service for young men who refuse conscription for religious and other reasons, officials said.

The move came after the Constitutional Court ordered the revision of the conscription law in June to allow for alternative service by the end of next year, while upholding the criminalization of "conscientious objectors."

The team, consisting of senior officials from the ministries and agency, plans to draw up a bill to revise the conscription law, which includes an alternative service program, by the end of this month, the officials said.

Separately, the defense ministry formed an advisory group that consists of scholars, officials from the National Human Rights Commission and representatives from civic groups such as the Center for Military Human Rights.

The joint team and advisory group are set to hold separate inaugural meetings in the defense ministry's building in Seoul.

A variety of ideas have been mentioned already, including doubling the length of the service period for conscientious objectors and having them lodge together in barracks in the areas of their assignments, according to the sources.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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