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Conscientious objectors start filing for alternative service

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

South Korea’s military on Tuesday opened applications for alternative military service to conscientious objectors. The move is in line with the Constitutional Court’s landmark ruling in June 2018 that objectors be given noncombat ways to fulfill their mandatory national service.

Applicants who pass a series of fitness tests organized by the Defense Ministry and other expert groups will start their active duty as early as October as workers in correctional centers carrying out day-to-day responsibilities there including maintenance and sanitation.

Residential candidates will have to complete the service for a period of three years, with vacations granted like for other soldiers on active duty, who the military said would not be allowed to apply for the alternative service.

The fitness tests would involve assessing the applicant’s conscience and sincerity, with more details on the procedures to be unveiled shortly, according to the military.

Seoul’s Supreme Court in November 2018 also sided with conscientious objectors five months after the Constitutional Court ordered the parliament to roll out an alternative service.

By Choi Si-young (siyoungchoi@heraldcorp.com)
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