Twelve South Korean students gain weight to skip compulsory military service

Nearly every able-bodied South Korean man is required to enrol by age 28 in the military, for a minimum of 21 months.

Published: 11th September 2018 03:43 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th September 2018 03:43 PM   |  A+A-

Image for representational purpose only.

By AFP

SEOUL: Twelve inventive South Korean college students deliberately made themselves overweight to dodge mandatory military service, a branch of the armed forces in Seoul said Tuesday.

The students -- all classical music majors at the same university in the capital -- took protein powder and drank a large amount of juice on the day of their physical examination, the Military Manpower Administration said.

"The classmates shared tips on how to gain weight on an online chatroom," it said, adding they drank an especially large amount of juice containing aloe vera pulp -- considered to stay in the body longer than other food.

Nearly every able-bodied South Korean man is required to enrol by age 28 in the military, for a minimum of 21 months.

Those deemed too overweight or underweight, or diagnosed with certain diseases or disabilities, are exempted and usually assigned to positions in places like courts or public libraries.

The 12 wily students were judged too overweight for conscription and were ordered to work for government services instead.

Two have already finished their public service, while four are currently doing it and six are waiting to be assigned to positions at state offices.

The military said it had used "digital forensic technology" to uncover the ruse, suggesting it may have seen messages from the chatroom used by the students.

Officials have sent the case to prosecutors who will decide whether to charge the group.

If the students are later found guilty, they will have to undergo the physical examination again -- and may have to serve their time in the military after all, the army warned.

Attempts to dodge conscription are not uncommon, with efforts including deliberately dislocating arms or shoulders.

Celebrities are not exempted, although the government rewards Asian Games gold medals and Olympic medals of any colour with an exemption.

Tottenham Hotspur star footballer Son Heung-min recently avoided being called for military service by leading South Korea to a gold medal in the recent Asian Games in Jakarta.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

facebook twitter whatsapp