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Cheong Wa Dae responds prudently to petition for female conscription

Politics 16:33 June 18, 2021

SEOUL, June 18 (Yonhap) -- The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on Friday responded carefully to a public petition in favor of mandatory military service for women.

In response to the petition for the introduction of a female conscription system signed by more than 290,000 people as of Friday, Cheong Wa Dae said it is a matter that has to be decided prudently after sufficient public discussions are carried out and a social consensus is reached.

By law, all able-bodied South Korean men must carry out military service for 18 to 22 months. But women are exempted from mandatory service, though they can volunteer as commissioned or noncommissioned officers. The debate on female conscription has surfaced recently amid the nation's chronically low birthrate.

This image from the website of the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae shows a petition for the introduction of female conscription. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

"A conscription system for women is not just a matter related to the military manpower recruitment. It contains diverse contentious issues," the presidential office said.

"There should be sufficient preparations and research on the military service environment and gender-equal military organizational culture before the female conscription system is actually implemented," it said.


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