Korean Man Accused of Getting Fat to Avoid Mandatory Military Service Wins Case

Military Service

A 22-year-old college student who was previously accused of deliberately gaining weight to avoid South Korea’s mandatory military service was recently acquitted by Incheon District Court.

The man, whose name was not revealed, underwent a physical exam for the military in August 2016 where the showed he weighed at 106 kilograms (233 lbs.) and had a height of 169.6 centimeters (5″5′) at the time, according to The Korea Herald.

He reportedly had a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 36.8, which is much higher than the required BMI of 33. Those who exceed the requirement can be exempted from military service and serve as a public service worker instead.

Prosecutors accused the college man of deliberately gaining weight, arguing that he ate fried chicken and drank alcohol before his physical exam in order to avoid the mandatory service. He was also accused of stooping when his height was being checked to increase his BMI.

The man denied all of the allegations and countered the argument saying that that he’s been overweight for a very long time, and added that he did not stoop when his height was being taken.

The judge, Shim Hyun-joo, was in favor of the man’s counter that he’s been obese since he was 10 years old. Shim also added that it’s hard to conclude whether the college man deliberately gained weight to avoid the mandatory military service, citing that he already weighed 102 kilograms (224 lbs.) when he was still a junior in high school. There was also no evidence pointing out that he took medications or supplements to help him gain weight rapidly.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons / Biswarup Ganguly (CC BY 3.0)

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