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Military academy to enhance discipline

The Korea Military Academy on Monday announced a series of measures to tighten discipline amid escalating criticism for a recent series of improprieties, including sexual misconduct.

The measures include focusing more on aspiring cadets’ aptitude in the admission process; strengthening the “three-nos” policy banning marriage, alcohol and smoking; building more safeguards for female cadets; and enhancing sexual ethics.

Critics, however, questioned the efficacy of these measures, arguing they appeared to be quick-fix solutions rather than determined efforts to shore up public trust in what was once touted as the birthplace of the nation’s military elite.

“We are very sorry for causing concerns to the people for the unsavory incidents,” the KMA said in a press release.

The latest case involving a senior cadet sent shockwaves across the country. The cadet, 22, was alleged to have had sex with a 16-year-old girl and the stole her smartphone last month. He was apprehended Thursday.

This followed two cases of alleged sexual assault and loosened discipline in May and earlier this month, respectively.

These cases have sparked concerns over apparent elitism and complacency at the academy.

Despite there being various routes to becoming commissioned officers, top army posts have been dominated by KMA graduates. Over the last four years, 80 percent of those promoted to the brigadier general rank were from the KMA.

By Song Sang-ho (