SEOUL, Aug. 13 (Korea Bizwire) — The government has allowed 1,419 conscientious objectors to perform other public services instead of their mandatory military service since the launch of the alternative service program last year, the military manpower agency said Friday.
As of June, 2,173 people had applied for the alternative service, and among 1,423 applicants reviewed, 1,419, including four who cited personal beliefs on nonviolence and pacifism, won approvals, according to the Military Manpower Administration.
The others who were allowed to serve the alternative duty cited religious reasons.
By law, all able-bodied South Korean men must carry out military service for about two years.
But the National Assembly passed a bill in 2019 allowing those who refuse to take up arms for religious or other personal beliefs to do other forms of service without punishment.
“The review committee will continue to develop the alternative service program to achieve harmony between human rights and the sacred value of military service,” the agency said in a release.