Over 100,000 Sign Petition To Require Women to Join Korea’s Mandatory Military Service

A petition to make it compulsory for women in South Korea to serve in the national army gained massive support from the public as tensions on the Korean Peninsula continue to heat up.

According to Taiwan News, an online petition seeking to amend the country’s Constitution to include women in the mandatory conscription was launched by a netizen on August 30.

“In reality, only men are required to serve in the military, but this should be changed to require the same of women,” the request stated.

via Flickr / 대한민국 국군 Republic of Korea Armed Forces (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The petition, which was posted on the website of the Blue House (South Korea’s executive office), has surpassed 100,000 signatures as of September 5. The proponent of the petition explained that adding such provision would greatly improve the country’s conscription (mandatory military service) system.

“In addition to the main enemy North Korea, South Korea is surrounded by Japan, China, and Russia, and for that reason, it is essential to continue the conscription system,” he added. “The conscription system is only for men, but women seek equality and claim that ‘women are just as good as men, and even have abilities men do not,’ and in that case, women should also be subject to the same compulsory duty as men. As a result, the number of active duty and trained soldiers in the country will increase.”

The petitioner, who was identified as male in the report, stated that the physical differences between genders should not be an issue.

via Flickr / 대한민국 국군 Republic of Korea Armed Forces (CC BY-SA 2.0)

“If physical differences between men and women have been used as an excuse from serving in the military, they why are females able to serve as police officers?” he argued.

South Korea’s Conscription Law, which was enacted in 1965, currently applies only to men, aged between 18 and 35. Women were allowed, but not required, to enroll in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps as of 2010. Currently, only 10,000 of the 630,000 active-duty personnel are women.

In 2015, the North Korean government started to require women who graduated high school to serve in the military until age 23.

Featured Image via Flickr / 대한민국 국군 Republic of Korea Armed Forces (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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