Friday, September 23, 2005
You may have heard rumors about the condition for soldiers in the South Korean military. Rumors speak of a hard-line marine corp, poor facilities--archaic to our time, and a tough conscription service that takes broad sweeps by forcing all young men to join the armed forces, save those that have physical- or mental health issues. While it may sound like a fair system--as you don't want unstable individuals in control of lethal weapons--you may be surprised.
The Korean Times reports of new information released by South Korea's Defense Ministry that speak of an increasing number of hospitalizations due to mental disease in Korea's armed forces. This does not sound swell now, does it?
Politicians and experts speak of a conscription service that signs up soldiers without serious consideration to their medical and mental history. Others speak of how the poor conditions in the military is not exactly "helpful" to preventing people developing mental conditions. It thus seems there's some credit to the Marine story and how it may be "driving people crazy."
It sounds like South Korea has another area in which it needs to shape up its human rights 'work-out'--a leftover from the 80-90s. It could also, however, demonstrate a global trend towards pacifism and the falling support for keeping such large military establishments active. The prosperity in the North East Asian region has developed without any major military conflicts since the Korean War, and perhaps people are starting to see the direct relationship between peace and prosperity.
Or maybe not. People may have developed mental disorders in the armed forces since the invension of the bow, arrow, and other sharp objects. What do I know??? I am not an MD in Psychiatry. What is important, however, is what you think?
Posted by SAP at 8:33 AM