December 05, 2023

Why some North Korean defectors don’t want exemption from ROK military service

South Korea considering mandatory conscription for escapees, and experts say it could help defectors integrate into ROK

South Korea is considering expanding mandatory military conscription to include North Korean defectors and orphans, as the country grapples with growing manpower shortages.

In a 2021 policy study report released for the first time earlier this month, the Military Manpower Administration (MMA) indicated that it is exploring the possibility due to the impact of record-low birthrates on the country’s armed forces.