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Defense Ministry opposes reduced military service

The Ministry of National Defense said Thursday that problems would occur should the new government of president-elect Park Geun-hye seek to reduce the country’s mandatory military service period.

“Problems would arise following the reduction of the service period from 21 months to 18 months as it could further make the military fall short of resources,” spokesperson Kim Min-seok told the press.

He added that the ministry would need to discuss this matter with Park’s transition team, and hopes to reach a conclusion after a comprehensive and thorough review. Park pledged that her government would seek to reduce the period to 18 months for all young men, who are generally concerned with the military service taking part of their youth.

She promised to achieve the reduction within her five-year term by increasing the number of noncommissioned officers.

However, some defense policymakers said the current 21 month period is already too short to achieve combat capability.