In a move expected to spark controversy, conservative lawmakers and the defense ministry are pushing to revive a military service law ruled unconstitutional 14 years ago that gave incentives to job seekers with a military background, a ministry official said Tuesday.
All able-bodied South Korean men are obligated to serve in the military for at least two years as the country still remains at war with North Korea after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a ceasefire.
Most of them are in their early 20s and are forced to delay their studies to join the armed forces.
Under the original law, male applicants with military backgrounds had received additional points on exams required when applying for most jobs in South Korea. However, the law was ruled unconstitutional in 1999, as it was considered discriminatory against women and the disabled.
Since then, conservative lawmakers have proposed alternative bills to give extra points to job seekers with military experience, but they faced staunch opposition from women’s rights groups and civic activists. (Yonhap News)