Government in South Korea Should Research Paper

  • Length: 10 pages
  • Sources: 10
  • Subject: Military
  • Type: Research Paper
  • Paper: #26901180

Excerpt from Research Paper :

(Siminski, 2012)

In the 1990s the veterans' Disability Pension scheme has had some effects. These results stated by the researcher Siminski (2012) are in disproportion to the situation in USA, of the same periods and it was thus concluded that there was employment disincentives inherent in Australia's veterans' compensation system. Though the nations are supposedly blaming the points system for their failure to accommodate ex-servicemen, the system does not show the difference between these countries and South Korea. The reason is that in these countries the veterans have already returned from a war and have alternate compensation media. However the serving personal are voluntary. There is no compulsion for anyone to serve the army except in a war. Therefore the compensation system may be shown as wasteful in a capitalist society that is not at war. (Siminski, 2012)

The law of compensation system -- extra points system, in the United States was to a great extent helpful in accommodating veteran's right from the Vietnam War to the Middle East crisis. In these cases the conscripts benefited after they were released from the army. Most conscripts are already proficient on some trade or another and therefore they have a future in competition. The situation in South Korea is totally different and if the Government of Korea is abolishing the system it is an ill considered move to manage the system. It can be proved by exploring the Korean situation that the point system is important to the men. The point system is necessary to ensure them a job, and the extra points will create equality with those who have not served but have acquired skills and compete. The point systems would also compensate for the two years compulsorily spent in the army.

The point that is moot is not whether the compulsory military service for men is discriminatory or not. In fact for South Korea the military service for men has been a blessing. It has brought together cohesion and a cultural ethos and unity in the country. The problem is thus not with the military although it was shown earlier that the human right activists do not view the compulsory enlistment in a favourable light, in this paper for the purposes of the hypothesis this fact is overlooked. It is also because it has been shown by researchers that the compulsory military work was good for the country. For example Kwona (2000), Professor at Korea Institute at Harvard University, USA published a tract in the 'International Feminist Journal of Politics' which reveals a detailed study of the South Korean system. Kwona (2000) claims that "military conscription in South Korea has attracted surprisingly little social research." "Mainly, such research has been left to military institutions. Also, few South Korean feminist analysts, until recently, have tried to fill this notable gap in political analysis." (Kwona, 2000)

Further the researcher shows that the workings of male compulsory military service must be looked into. The argument is that by the gendering of conscription, and the persistence of a culture of militarism the new democratic movement will still be from the 'authentic' South Korean in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The compulsory male military service has had its many utilities and it was crucial in "constructing citizenship, nationhood, masculinity, femininity, motherhood and fatherhood and in creating the essential 'glue' that binds each of these six potent ideas to the concept of the nation-state in contemporary South Korea." (Kwona, 2000)

Thus the merits of the veterans extra point and its abolition is not justified to continue a system that proves beneficial to the state. It is argued that in order to derive benefits from the compulsory military service imposed by South Korea, the soldier must be equipped to meet the challenges of civil life when he returns to it. If the fate of the soldier after return is despair, then the system of the compulsory service itself will be challenged, resented and probably be the cause of strife and civil or military unrest in future. Is the extra point system beneficial? Definitely in the present set up it is. In the debates on the abolition of the veteran's extra point system the major thrust is to argue that as long as the compulsory military service system continues to operate it is difficult to avoid the extra point because of discrimination it causes. (Joo-hyun, 2002)

It is also difficult to remove the distinction between public/private sectors and the natural gender difference, the conscription causes and the male-centeredness of the state is also touted as an issue. In contrast it is argued by the social researcher Joo-hyun (2002) that if there is an alternative, it must take into account the gender politics, and must also "utilize actively the idea of human rights as well as the idea of citizenship to realize the gender equal state." Therefore the male conscription as long as is prevalent is going to be a social problem and gender-based differences are going to create a lacunae for which the point system has to be retained. There is also the economic angle. It has to be understood that there is a relationship between gender, wage inequality, and export-led growth in South Korea.

Studying the Korean economy Seguinoa (1997) argued that the gender wage gap in Korea's manufacturing sector and the women's segregation in the country's major export industries have not driven up women's wages relative to those of men. Seguinoa (1997) argues that though the wages increase they are not substantial for women. That was in 1977 and the times have changed to day. It was observed in 1977 that "the interaction of state and firm-level hiring, training, and promotion practices that structure women's and men's employment opportunities differently appear to have resulted in a relatively weaker fall-back position for women in labour markets." (Seguinoa, 1997) at that time it can be seen the effects of the conscription did not have much effect. Later in the 1990s after the economy took off and post globalization, the demand structure of the economy for personnel has changed.

Citing various reasons for this, Seungsook Moon, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, Vassar College, in his various works has shown that the system must continue as long as compulsory drafting exists. One of the reasons he gives is the problem of men not being able to find equal employment after retiring from the army. He argues that the general view of South Korea is that it is a territorialized political community. The military service extra points system was thus territorialized by analysers. (Moon, 2002b) Therefore asserts that the "print and electronic media and generated by the government, the constitutional Court, women's organizations, conservative public opinion, and individual citizens engaged in internet discussion during the period from mid-199B to mid-2000." (Moon, 2002b) Then it is argued that the issue brought forth the bigger issue of "a conflict between women's equal employment and compensation for men's mandatory military service." (Moon, 2002b) the gender differences would have been obscured if women were also similarly conscripted and as it is, the removal of the point system would act as a great threat to military morale and thereby cause impermanence in the unity of the nation.

Further focusing on the problem of equity in conscription in contemporary South Korea and on one popular cultural response to that problem, Moon (2005) argues that there is a great importance of men's conscription and practices of masculinity (and femininity) in larger society. One has to look at the geopolitical reality in Korea "that justifies militarized national security and the existence of conscription is embedded in the gendered interpretation of what is being threatened and to be protected. This absence of context can also lead to an inadequate view of civil society as a uniform and homogeneous space without social inequalities or divisions." (Moon, 2005) Therefore this discussion has shown overbearing evidence that discontinuing the point system at this period of time is disadvantageous, and for a future course, first either the compulsory conscription for 2 years has to be replaced with full time army service for willing persons with pensions, or there must be compulsory drafting of women and all persons. In the absence of this the point scheme must continue.


In South Korea, the military service is mandatory for males and the government imprisons persons who are individuals who raise a conscientious objection to military service. Then it is the duty of the government to ensure that alternative service is of a genuinely civilian character with the opportunity to qualify while in service is provided to military personnel and since that is yet to be achieved it is unjust and will be utter discrimination of the men in service over other civilian competitors if the extra points system is removed. It has…

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