The Korea Herald


Military suffers steady growth of conscripts' dropout

By KH디지털2

Published : Sept. 6, 2015 - 09:31

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The military saw a growing number of military servicemen drop out of the mandatory two-year service over the past three years due mainly to maladjustment issues, Defense Ministry data showed Sunday.

The number of conscripts who were put into the military's rehabilitation centers "Green Camp' has been in a steady growth, with the annual figure soaring from 2,582 in 2012 to 2,657 in 2013 and to reach 3,132 in 2014, according to the data.

The number stood at 1,725 for the first six months of 2015.

The military keeps 24 green camps with the Army and another four with the Navy in a bid to help conscripts who show signs of suicide or complain maladjustment inside military barracks.

Art therapy and other psychiatric treatment are provided in the weeks-long program before deciding whether to send the inmates back to barracks or to grant them early discharge.

In 2012, a total of 417 inmates were granted an early discharge, while the numbers soared to 515 in 2013 and to 826 for 2014.

For the first half of this year 462 conscripts were discharged in advance.

The military said they plans to upgrade and extend the green camp program to better help with conscripts' rehabilitation.

The data came as the military is struggling to deal with increasing maladjustment issues inside the barracks.

Last week, a 23-year-old conscript was sentenced to the death penalty for killing five fellow soldiers in a shooting rampage in a military outpost near the border with North Korea. He had complained of being bullied by comrades although the military court did not accept his defense as the reason for the shooting.

All the able-bodied South Korean men are required to serve about the two-year mandatory military service as the country technically remains at war with North Korea since the 1950-53 Korean War. (Yonhap)