The nation's military, naval and air force academies have decided to allow their cadets to wear civilian clothes and drink alcohol when they are off campus, authorities said Monday.
A military official said the three academies have revised school regulations banning cadets from wearing civilian clothing and drinking liquor last year and have been implementing the new rules since March this year.
But those cadets who are younger than the legal drinking age of 18 still cannot drink alcohol or wear civilian clothes outside of campus at private events.
The official said, however, that smoking is still prohibited for all cadets whether they are inside or outside the campus.
Marriage is also banned for the cadets when they attend academies.
For the past years, the military and the three academies had considered relaxing the "Three Nos" policy banning marriage, alcohol and smoking in light of changing social trends and concerns that it could restrict cadets' human rights.
But critics said the move could weaken the six-decade-old policy and loosen school discipline.
In 2013, the Korea Military Academy set up a task force to enhance its regulations and culture amid criticism of the rigidity of what some call "anachronistic" regulations and rising concerns over several cases of sexual misconduct involving some cadets. (Yonhap)