SEOUL, Aug. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — Amid the common bullying and violence among peer Korean soldiers, they are even more suffering from being unreasonably underpaid, compared with the soldiers in other countries introducing compulsory military services.
According to the conscription systems of foreign countries reported by the Military Manpower Administration (MMA), more than 15 countries including China, Russia and Taiwan are enforcing a conscription system.
Their service term on average is 21 months, which is almost the same as in the Korean army. North Korea enforces the longest service period of 10 years for a man and 7 years for a woman. Also, Israeli soldiers serve the military for a rather long period of 3 years for men and 2 years for women.
The service terms in some countries vary in the levels of education. In Egypt, university graduates only serve for a year, whereas high school and middle school graduates should serve for two years and three years respectively. In Colombia, high school graduates serve for a year, but less educated soldiers should be in the military for 18 to 24 months.
For Korean soldiers, the service term is on the average level, but they are being paid less than the counterparts in other countries. Among the five countries the MMA could secure their military payroll information from, Singapore pays 393,000 won (US$386) for a private, 409,000 won for a first class private, 450,000 won for a corporal and 483,000 won for a sergeant monthly. Thai’s conscripted soldiers receive an average 288,000 won a month. Considering the fact that a Korean army corporate is receiving 134,600 won a month, Korean soldiers are being paid 30-50 percent less than those from other countries.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Defense of Korea plans to raise their wages by 15 percent annually to 195,000 won in 2017.
By John Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)