SEOUL, April 21 (Korea Bizwire) – The monthly wages of conscripted soldiers will be doubled from their 2012 levels by 2017, as the defense ministry aims to raise the monthly wage of a corporal to 195,800 won (US$180).
The Ministry of National Defense released its mid-term national defense plan on April 20, which details the wage increases that are being implemented amidst concern over the well being of conscripted soldiers.
According to the plan, a corporal’s wages, which currently stand at 154,800 won per month, will increase to 178,000 won in 2016 and finally to 195,800 won in 2017. In 2012, a corporal’s monthly salary was only 97,500 won. The ministry expects the measure to cost 1.3 trillion won.
Meanwhile, the ministry will also raise the quality of food served to soldiers by investing 8.5 trillion won. It aims to raise the expenditure of 7,190 won (US$6.60) per soldier per day to 9,441 won (US$8.70) by 2020.
South Korea operates a mandatory conscription system, with a service term of 21 months.
A ministry official said, “We will keep raising the soldiers’ wages to increase their welfare and morale.”
By M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)