Overprotective Korean Mothers Flock to Military

Article from Chosun Ilbo:

Mothers Flock to Military

Everyday, they ask after their sons in the military, and if their sons are shoved by senior soldiers, they complain to the unit

Overprotection causing maladjustment among soldiers…When they miss their mothers, they ask for leave

overprotective korean mothers military service soldier

When Navy captain A thinks of soldier B who was only in the military for a month, and then discharged from service due to maladjustment, the soldier’s mother’s face comes to mind. From the time that soldier B was placed in the military, he would say “I really hate the military” and requested a meeting almost every day. Eventually, he tried to commit suicide. Navy captain A said he tried his best to help soldier B, who was labeled as in need of special attention, adjust to the military. He carefully observed the soldier’s barrack life, and frequently met with him. However, it wasn’t soldier B that made the captain feel helpless- it was the soldier’s mother. After B’s suicide attempt, B’s mother frequently called A to ask after her son, and this only intensified as time went on.

She would call almost three to four times every day to ask about her son, even calling at 2- 3 AM in the morning and pressing him to put her son on the line. Finally, it was decided that B was unsuitable for the military, and was discharged from service due to illness. A said “I understand that she was worried about her son, but wouldn’t her attitude have influenced her son’s ability to adjust to the military?”

Korean parents who are known for their devotion to their children are flocking to the military.

These kinds of mothers have emerged– mothers who frequently ask platoon leaders about their sons’ well-being as if they were making inquiries to the kindergarten teacher, and rent rooms near the training facilities to be at their sons’ side when they undergo new recruit training. A recent string of bullying incidents and suicides have drawn attention to the backwardness of military culture, but among commanders, “Overprotective parents are a main reason for maladjustment among soldiers.”

Parents Who Follow Their Sons to the Military

Company-grade officer C who is the midst of new recruit training in the military says, “Not too long ago, I went to a restaurant near the training facilities, and was shocked when a woman in her 40’s asked me ‘Do you happen to know recruit x?'” She introduced herself as the mother of a new recruit who had entered the training facilities two weeks ago, and said “I wanted to be by my son’s side. I come to the restaurant in front of the unit almost every day for lunch.” C said “There are mothers who rent rooms and camp out near the training facilities until their son’s training is over. This woman felt that she couldn’t compare to them. I was at a loss for words and couldn’t reply.”

Among lower level officers, there is a term they call parents who frequent the unit’s internet cafe dozens of time a day during their son’s service– “super fans.” On one unit’s internet cafe, a soldier’s mother uploaded childhood pictures of him, as well as pictures of his favorite foods. These parents send notes and frequently ask the platoon leader and squadron leader about their sons.

According to observers at the military training facilities, in the Kakaotalk chat rooms that the platoon leaders establish, there is no end to petitions from parents who send messages about the cosmetics that their sons use, and ask the platoon leaders if they can send money and have the platoon leaders buy the products for their sons on their behalf.

Soldiers who ask for their mom in the military

Squadron Commander D of a Gangwon-do unit tensed up when he heard that a private who had recently transferred to the unit three months ago had requested a meeting. He accepted the meeting right away, thinking that the private been beaten, or endured cruel treatment, but the soldier told him, “I am satisfied with life in the military- I just miss my mother” and asked if he couldn’t be given leave. D said “It was absurd, but many incidents can happen in the military, so as a preventative measure, I gave him leave. His parents had driven to the front of the unit and were waiting for him.”

Considering this, there are many things that happen in middle and high school classrooms that can also happen in the military. One field-grade officer said bitterly, “Two corporals who were a rank apart were bickering, and the senior soldier lightly shoved the junior soldier. Even though the commander said he would take measures to resolve it, the mother of the junior soldier came to the unit and demanded a public apology from the mother of the senior soldier. Eventually, the unit had to call the parents on both sides, and mediate a resolution between them.”

The problem with overprotecting soldiers

The military is a place where you live a regulated life with a group in a closed environment. Because of this, it’s necessary to be mentally capable of being self-reliant. But in the front line unit, one general in charge of new recruit education says, “Whether it’s overprotecting their sons or ignoring them, this has an effect in development, leading them to have a weaker ability for self-reliance or have obsessive-compulsive syndrome, and I see in many cases they not able to adjust to life in the military. Eventually, these soldiers have a high risk of ending up becoming the attacker or victim in the barracks.”

Comments from Naver :


When war breaks out, they’ll go to the enemy commander and argue with them.

wate****[Responding to above]:

The Republic of Korea’s Ministry of National Defense = Parents??


Parents, don’t you have to teach your children how to tough it out after you pass away?

the_****[Responding to above]:

We don’t have the right to mock China’s little emperors.


When there’s a war, they will go fight in their son’s stead.


At this rate, the army is becoming a mess…


Gather together all the soldiers under special supervision, and create a training center for them. It would be great to put all of them there.


It’s these kinds of extreme mothers that are creating “mama boys” and torment their wives, leading to divorce. They don’t cultivate a sense of independence in their sons, but forever treat their sons as kids. Their sons are pitiful.


They care about their moms only when they’re in the army, but they are indifferent to their moms after they’re discharged. Korean moms, don’t be fooled.


These guys will get married and then a few years later, their wives will give them divorce papers to sign…


This doesn’t help your kid, but instead, screws them up, don’t you know? How silly.


The problem is not with the military. These kinds of parents interfere in their kids’ social life and marriage life.

Share This Article
Help us maintain a vibrant and dynamic discussion section that is accessible and enjoyable to the majority of our readers. Please review our Comment Policy »
  • Small twon

    What a weaklings ! Put them in the line unit in Gang-won or Sea police unit fighting Chinese pirate fishing boat.That will teach them a lesson.

    • jonny

      internet warrior. you couldn’t kill a bunny with a machine gun

  • demure guy

    “It’s these kinds of extreme mothers that are creating “mama boys” and torment their wives, leading to divorce. They don’t cultivate a sense of independence in their sons, but forever treat their sons as kids. Their sons are pitiful.”

    So true. men are supposed to be independent.

    • Ewnerd Nasalo

      Independence isn’t too highly prized in Korea if you hadn’t noted.

      In fact, many of the things that make effective, efficient, and well-adjusted soldiers (with the notable exceptions of obedience and interdependence), are not that highly prized in civilian society these days.

  • commander

    Public credibility of the military has been eroded by a stream of assaults, killings and suicide of private soldiers.

    And the repetition of the mishaps in the military, despite Defense Ministry’s proclaimed determination to eradicate all bullying and abuses in barracks, is an indication that the underlying problem lies elsewhere.

    If remedies incorporated by the defense ministry is efficacious, why is the trouble recurring?

    The stubborn malaise in the military and ineffectiveness of introduced solutions prompt parental anxiety that their sons, soon to get drafted into the military, may suffer abuses and bullying during their mandatory military service.

    Some parents have jittery bordering on obsessive concerns about their sons’ safety in the military–how contradictory “safety in the military,” it is because men are enlisted to protect the nation, but are not called to duty to protect themselves from soldiers–virtually hampering their grown up sons adjusting to the military life, thus dampening military morale and undermining discipline in the military.

    The military inability to deal properly with overprotective concerns from some parents amount to its admission that we have some hard-to fix troubles and their anxiety is legitimate.

    At this point, opportunists who want to avoid hard and tiring military service may increase between the military’s passivity to deal with overprotective parents and some parents who have their sons indulging themselves.

    If many more exploit this loophole, getting discharged from the military, citing maladjustment, who in the hell remains in the military serving the honorable aim of defending the nation around the clock against North Korea with which the nation is technically at war?

    The Defense Ministry should be adamant in executing an overhaul of the military personnel management system and rejecting parental contacts without reasonable grounds.

    It is a confident and brave military I really miss for now.

  • Balkan

    ” the senior soldier lightly shoved the junior soldier” – I know what Koreans mean by light showing – broken nose, torn lip, concussion…

  • 금정산

    I imagine it’s difficult for mums when their sons attend the military service. All mothers worry about their children when they first leave home. Parents forget that children grow up and are conditioned to taking caring of them as an expression of love. Add to this the sensationalist reports how difficult military life is, the bullying and suicide problems; I can only feel sorry for the mums.

    But they need to let go and let their sons become men. This is why I think military service is good for youths – it enables them to find their independence, become physically and mentally stronger, become more confident in their abilities, discover themselves, grow a thick skin and become more resilient. This is what mothers want from their sons, so they need to stop being over protective control freaks and realise their sons are no longer children.

    • Ken Morgan

      Conscription is slavery and indentured servitude. Before you even try to refute this. Women who were forced into ‘service’ against their for comfort houses were also paid, it was also for a short time.

      Does that mean it is ok.

      You can’t say one is ok without saying the other is also.

      So which is it?

      • 금정산

        Hold your horses. it’s more complicated than that.

        Firstly, I agree that conscription can be deemed a form of slavery – but I disagree with using that term because the connotations of labor camps, cotton fields and sex slaves, as you mention. I partly condemn the military service in Korea because most of the soldiers’ time is spent on menial jobs for the army when there is little combat training. I think it should last six months alike Finland and focus on training. I think military service is necessary for many countries which have a weak regular army or are risk or war. It would be unpopular, but I think Australia should introduce a Finish-style military service for national defense and less dependence on our allies. However the conscripts should be used for legitimate purposes (there is a problem in who decides this). I would be happy to serve six months in the army to prepare for the small possibility of an invasion; but I wouldn’t want to serve in another war like Vietnam.

        The difference between conscription and sex slavery is the motivation and purpose of the enforced labor. I think national defense is necessary and a legitimate reason to enforce conscription. Vietnam wasn’t necessary for national defense, but a civilian reserve arguably is. The Japanese didn’t have a legitimate reason to enforce sex slaves. The war against China and the annexation of Korea wasn’t legitimate; and there was no need for soldiers to have access to sex. It was a way to weaken the moral of the enemy and to provide motivation and benefits to soldiers.

        • Black_Plague

          “most of the soldiers’ time is spent on menial jobs for the army when there is little combat training.”

          I would assume this really highly depends on which unit the soldiers themselves are assigned in.

          If they were in say, reconnaissance, intelligence, aviation, missile defense, armor etc., I don’t think you can really imagine them doing menial jobs. Nor can this be said for troops that are in the Special Assault Commando Regiments and Brigades, Marine recon battalions, aviation units, Navy UDT and SSU, Army Special Warfare Command, VII Corps’ 7th Air Assault Battalion or certain formations in the GOP divisions etc.

          • 금정산

            I agree, but most soldiers aren’t in those divisions. When I first meet a Korean guy I always what his job was during military service – most tell me they didn’t receive a lot of training and mostly performed menial jobs. I would guess they only provide specialist training to the elite minority. The ones who may pursue a career in the armed forces.

          • Black_Plague

            That we don’t know entirely for sure. The military has so many roles that need to be performed, to the point it’s really impossible to come up with a solid conclusion that the vast majority don’t receive much training and performed menial jobs at best.

            For every division, this would also likely depend on the brigade/regimental (2-4 thousand), battalion (250-700) and perhaps even company level (60-150) as well, which in that case, makes it difficult to sum. Alternatively, plenty of guys I know including family who were in the ROK military told me their experiences were the exact opposite of what you described, and many of them didn’t serve in the units I mentioned above.

            My guess would be that it simply really depends on which unit in each corps, division or even regiment is more likely to fight first and is considered more high-priority as far as equipment, role and overall strategical importance is concerned.

      • David

        Conscription is a rice you pay as a citizen of country that is at war. The U.S. had it until near the end of the Vietnam era. Israel (for instance) has it. Just because you don’t like it does mean your opinion is right. Comparing required service, by the country that is protecting you, to slavery or to women being raped in war time throws all logic out the window. You can certainly say one is O.K. without the other being O.K.you have made no effort for any sort of persuasive argument that your pint of view is valid, you simply said it is and that nobody can argue with you. You would not make a very good lawyer.

        • Ken Morgan

          Because I’m not a lawyer?

          My main beef with conscription is that it indentured servitude whereby your rights, freedom and life are stripped away and you are turned into a chattel. You are forced into it. Any time when there is force and denial of freedom it is slavery.

          A very common defence that it isn’t slavery is a lot of people say it isn’t slavery because conscripts get paid. Ergo comfort women got paid…

          Any talk of social contracts or a price is simply an effort to move the goalposts
          as a contract has to be signed and agreed upon in order for it to be
          deemed valid with a reasonable outcome (not you go to prison or we’ll kill you) for declining. The concept of tacit consent is not a legitimate one in a
          free society. Germany for example had ‘service’ they can refuse to be in the military and undertake another form of service. Simon a friend from Bremen chose to work for the German embassy in Seoul.

          Here is something for you from Heinlein:

          Conscription is one of them. Conscription is slavery, and I don’t think that any people or nation has a right to save itself at the price of slavery for anyone, no matter what name it is called. We have had the draft for twenty years now; I think this is shameful. If
          a country can’t save itself through the volunteer service of its own
          free people, then I say : Let the damned thing go down the drain!

          • David

            You just sound like a scared idiot that doesn’t want to go to the military. South Korea is a nation that is still at war. There will be sacrifices that have to made to ensure that the country remains free and strong. I’m sorry that in your selfishness you can’t see the bigger picture.

            “Conscription is slavery. I think this is shameful. If a country can’t save itself through the volunteer service of its own free people.”

            I can’t believe the mentality of people these days. I guess even in the movie Roaring Currents, there were cowards and ingrates — both of which would be you.

          • Ken Morgan

            Why would I want to go into the military? my country does not have conscription. In fact the UK stopped national service because the soldiers it created were next to useless.

            You know what most of the men did during national service? They polished coal and peeled potatoes. Great use of time there right?

          • Ken Morgan

            That’s the thing you’ve just outlined and discredited your own argument. You want to force people who have no interest no stake or motivation to fight. You want people like ME in your armed forces you want to compel people like me to defend your homeland?

            Consider for a moment why you would want a coward/ingrate in your army. Because while conscripted on paper I am a soldier and a general can send me to my death. Who says I am going to comply? you going to shoot me in the back if I throw my gun and run away?

            Ask yourself if you have to shoot me in the back as to why you have to use this method to force compliance. Because I don’t want to be there, my motivations are opposite that of the generals and the commanders. You have to provide huge threats to me worse than that of the enemy to make me comply.

            You call me cowardly and hell sure I’ll admit that and let YOU happily be sent to YOUR death. I’ll happily survive to an old age and you can become fertiliser.

            Read up Grossman, before battlefield conditioning and brainwashing of soldiers. Most soldiers were completely ineffective, most soldiers of the era Grossman studied were conscript armies.

            The professional units fared much better.

          • Black_Plague

            “The professional units fared much better”

            The effectiveness of a military, whether it be conscript or professional, depends on;

            1. Ability of leadership and command-and-control across all levels.

            2. How much training is employed on said troops – including both active and reserve, and how many frequent training exercises are conducted to test their abilities.

            3. Ability to keep the troops well-supplied a.k.a logistics, as well as the quality of their equipment, and how many losses can be afforded and how long it can sustain its operations.

            4. How much said military is strung up by politicians and relations between the two.

            As far as history shows, conscript armies have performed admirably themselves to lengths that even exceed that of professional armies. Examples?

            . The Wehrmacht is one brilliant example. Conscript-reliant, but with well-trained and experienced officers and NCOs + quality equipment and excellent command-and-control, and managed to occupy a massive part of Europe in just a few years.

            In the end, the Germans with poultry assistance from various collaborators and the Italians were still able to inflict far more losses on the Allied forces.

            . The Israeli Defense Forces also performed admirably in the Six Day War and 1973 Yom Kippur War, and they too are a conscript-based army in spite of being outnumbered and outgunned by the significantly larger Egyptian and Syrian forces.

            Even today, the IDF is viewed upon favorable in military circles, and is considered among the most powerful armies across the entire Middle East, if not even the world.

            If you want an example of a terribly deficient army, then the Iraqi and Syrians are a great example, further evident by their abysmal combat record. Such deficiencies are;

            1. Inadequate level of training and unable to catch on into the acknowledge or execute up-to-date tactics.

            2. Consistently poor/outdated/badly maintained equipment.

            3. An officer corps that is highly politicized based on either loyalty/political reliability to the state leader, tribe, ethnic group rather than competence and merits.

            4. General incompetence of leadership

            And even, those said problems also occur in professional armies. Those exact issues continued under the Iraq military post-Saddam, and similarly occurred to Syria’s Republican Guard and 4th Armored Division, all of them in spite of being professional forces (and fortunately for all of them, the Iranians reversed this).

            Saudi Arabia’s military is also argued to be incompetent as well, if not even unreliable, and they too are a professional army. That being said, the Afghans and Nigerians also hadn’t been doing so well either.

      • David

        LOL. What an ignorant statement. The reason that South Korea needs conscription is because the country is technically is still at war with North Korea. Also, I resent the fact that you shove a tragedy that happened to prove your point. They are two completely different stories. First, the people that forced the women into service were an occupying and foreign force. Secondly, what idiot thinks that being forced to become a prostitute and attending military service for 1 1/2 – 2 years is the same.

        • Ken Morgan

          Oh the big bad N Korean army. Which would last about 4 hours against the massive close air support S Korea has and the autogun defences at the DMZ. The N Korean army may have numbers. Numbers may well have inflicted huge casulties at Imjim river but that was 60 years ago technology marches on.

          The N K army is nothing but a boogie man. Those big artillery pieces? they will last one maybe two shots as part of maintenance of large calibre guns is ultrasounding or xrays for cracks.

          • Marching

            Please tell us what technology did for the US in Iraq and Afghanistan?

          • Ken Morgan

            The US won the invasions VERY quickly. The problem is they didn’t have the stomach for a 30-60 year occupation.

          • Black_Plague

            “The problem is they didn’t have the stomach for a 30-60 year occupation”

            That’s only one of the problems. Other factors are;

            1. Piss-poor if not outright incompetent leadership from the govt itself. Being micromanaged by a leadership that for the most part doesn’t know shit about military strategy isn’t exactly gonna lead to good results.

            2. Lack of troops and lack of proper planning for the occupation phase itself, especially in the case of Iraq.

            3. General incompetence of the local forces, even though they are all professional volunteers themselves. The Iraqis displayed this just fine earlier in the year when ISIS steamrolled across the country, and it wasn’t until recently when they finally got their shit together for the most part – and even in that case, with Coalition air support and special forces, Russian delivery of helicopters and CAS aircraft and Iranian advisers, as well as the Shi’a militias.

          • Sony

            Those boogie men just pulled off one of the most successful cyber attacks against the West in recent history

          • Ken Morgan

            Really how do we know it was them? There was a nice wired article recently about how flimsy the evidence happens to be.


          • Black_Plague

            You’re right that the North Korean military wouldn’t last long against South Korea and the US in an all-out war, but you don’t seem aware of specific capabilities that can dish out crippling damage on the South.

            1. Artillery – most of North Korea’s conventional artillery cannot even reach Seoul. That we can agree, with the exception of the Koksan SPAGs.

            However, the same cannot be said about their ballistic missiles, and they got plenty of those.

            2. The post-war phase. Sure, the KPA will crumble as an organized fighting force, but that doesn’t mean it will continue fighting in a conventional manner.

            There will be plenty thousands of diehard fanatics in the KPa and the security services + potential volunteers and sympathizers within NK’s population that *will* engage in guerrilla warfare and terrorism.

            Considering the mountainous nature of Korea + the number of weapons that’ll be lying around etc., it would be a hell of a difficult fight to finish, never mind the eventual obligation to ‘reconstruction’ and ‘occupation’ South Korea would likely end up doing – and unlike the US, won’t have the option of just quitting because it’s right next to its doorstep.

          • Chucky3176

            Having more South Korean men on ground won’t stop the NK missiles and artilery. On the contrary, have less men on ground and take that money saved in improving the anti missile capability and better artillery neutralizing capability.
            Also, having more men on ground won’t stop the North Korea’s menacing diesel powered subs with missile launch capabilities. SK needs to improve on sub fighting technology – again need more money on them, instead of having more ground troops which won’t do shit against all those threats.

            Can you see why we don’t need more men?

          • Black_Plague

            South Korea’s current counter-battery capabilities are more than enough to knock out the vast majority of North Korea’s artillery, and even now, missile strike capabilities are being worked on on – the Hyunmoo 3C cruise missiles come into mind, which have more than enough range to strike place in NK from anywhere in South Korea.

            Yonhap news also reported that 13.7% of the MOND’s budget will be spent on missile defense + it’s been reported that the ROK military is also upgrading its PAC-2 missiles with also statements of possibly acquiring the PAC-3 variant.

            Even then, no matter how much is spent on anti-ballistic missile technology, one way or another, in any war scenario, there *will* be a number of missiles that *will* hit their targets in the South – be it military or civilian.

            Secondly, I don’t think you realize that in the end of any war, regardless of how much advanced technology and countermeasures against the enemy’s strike capabilities you have, ultimately, it’s won by boots on the ground and they’re the ones that hold it.

            A total war – which is definitely the most likely case of conflict to occur between the 2 Koreas should shit hit the fan – typically means gearing the entire population towards the war effort.

            In the post-NK collapse scenario I mentioned above, your suggestions of additional anti-submarine, anti-missile and counter-battery would come into a moot as all of those would be next to useless against a guerrilla force. That also would raise another few questions as well – such as how many of South Korea’s troops will be assigned to occupational duties, and how many will be assigned to staying in south, what approaches will be used to eliminate those threats and the list goes on.

            Additionally, the 2020 Defense Reform is also slated to cut at least 100,000 troops from the Army and disbanding roughly half of all active and reserve divisions, so I think your end question is partly answered there.

  • bigmamat

    . Sorry Korea but you’re a nation full of bullies and nowhere is it more apparent than in your mandatory military service. After all it’s a bully’s paradise. Isolation, a captive pool of new recruits rotating in and out constantly. Many of them “hagwon zombies” and mama’s boys. You can’t blame some Tiger Mom for laying awake at night wondering if her precious retirement investment isn’t getting his ribs kicked in. Especially after seeing the condition of that recruit who died this year. Damn at what point during that beating did someone not say, “Opps I think we broke him?” Oh well, mandatory service should be as painless as possible but for some reason Korea thinks it needs to be more painful than a prison sentence. Physical, mental and emotional abuse do not make “men” or soldiers. It may have a lot of men ready to fight but I have a sneaking suspicion it isn’t because of esprit de corps.

    • Ken Morgan

      I don’t know if they ARE ready to fight tbh. Conscripts tend to perform poorly when asked to fight compared to professional armies. There is a reason Heinlein called conscripts slave armies. Although military brainwashing has been applied (read Grossman) to make soldiers think less and shoot on reflex. They are less motivated to fight.

      • Chucky3176

        I’m in favour of getting rid of the mamma boy’s army if it means reducing the effectiveness of the military because now they’re swinging the other way due to few isolated cases out of a total manpower of 650,000 man military. I maybe wrong but I believe this force is larger than the United States military. Just disband the K-pop hair boys and recruit men and women who want to be there. The problem of going professional is that now you have to raise taxes to pay for their salaries and cover for the increased military spending which is necessary to keep a large professional force.

        It doesn’t make sense for South Korea to keep a large military at all. The reason is North Korea’s conventional army is no longer a viable military due to decades of famine. They are falling apart at the seams, as latest new intelligence documents which have smuggled out of North Korea have shown. NK army can’t even move a truck, so they have to carry the supplies on their backs, because they’re out of gasoline, while virtually all of their soldiers are suffering from severe malnutrition. NK army spends more time foraging for supplies (meaning robbing North Korean people), rather than training for war. Plus they are used for slave labor like construction of government buildings and apartments. The vast majority of North Korean soldiers are in no shape whatsoever to fight at all due to physical weakness. When North Korea shelled South Korea in 2011 with artillary, killing 3 South Koreans, there was great criticism by the press, of the South Korean army for not responding effectively enough. But the latest documents typed up by North Korean high ranking officials have shown that in that attack, the counter South Korean battery of only three K9 self prop guns (only three of the six guns were working during that day), totally decimated the North Korean gunners by causing hundreds of dead and wounded. North Korea now has a new manual which says, shoot first, then flee the scene within 5 minutes. Years of famine and years of hardship particularly during the worst days of 1990’s where over 2 to 3 million people starved to death, means that in North Korea, there are hundreds of thousands of missing men who would have been soldiers today. The North Korean military is suffering from severe shortage of men.

        Knowing the dire straits that North Korea is in, what’s the point of keeping a large conscripted army? Stand down, professionalize the army, and keep a small but effective mobile well equipped force.

        Instead of conscripting the army, I’m in favour of conscripting the eligible men into SME companies. Replace all the EPS foreign workers from Asian foreign countries, with conscripted Korean young men deployed into SME companies who otherwise might have hired foreign workers. They would be required to serve for minimum of 3 years. The conscripted Korean men would receive the same regular salary that foreign workers would have received. If their job performances don’t measure up, then as punishment, they can be transferred to civil engineering divisions where they’ll help out with charities, do repair work after disasters, clean up garbage on streets, etc etc. all without pay. I think this ideal would kill two birds with one stone. Professionalize the military, make it more effective, reduce the bullying cases, at the same time, help solve the man power shortage in the blue collar sector and the unemployment problem.

        • bigmamat

          I don’t think “conscription” into anything is a good idea. I have a novel idea. Why not pay your blue collar workers a decent wage to make it more appealing. Everyone in the entire country cannot ride a desk and get drunk every night before things start to collapse. Just look at the US. We decimated the middle class and it started 30 years ago with NAFTA. Of course the “educated, white collar” folks didn’t care how much industry left this country or the millions of blue collar workers who’s lives were decimated. They all thought this was the “information age” and they would never be touched. Now it’s fairly clear there are not enough “white collar” jobs to go around there is also not enough money left in the hands of anyone in the “middle class” to spur job growth for anything but service level jobs. Oh well, this is what happens when people think things only happen to the other guy.

          • bob

            Blue collar works pay better than some white collar jobs. But they are long hours (12 to 14 hours) of physical labor. White collar jobs have similar hours but they can at least pretend they are working where as blue collar jobs require you to work full out for 12 hours.

          • bigmamat

            Perhaps the reason the days are so long for the average blue collar worker is because there is not a large enough pool of workers. I assume Korea doesn’t know anything about “overtime”. Which can often make up for long hours once you do get a day off.

          • Chucky3176

            A conscripted army of young men, required to work in small companies for average of $2000 a month to avoid being conscripted into the military, is not really a conscription. It would be more like an military exemption program – a trade off for not being conscripted in return you have to put in time for blue collar work training. There will be no barking officers keeping an eye on you, and some may end up liking their jobs and may end up keeping their jobs well after the conscription period is over. It would be far cheaper than bringing foreign guest workers. It’s just an ideal I had from top of my head.

          • bigmamat

            Sounds a bit like Job Corps. I think the government also had similar programs for students, like med students. The government pays for your education and you work where they send you for two years. I not sure if they still run that program but I’m sure if they did people would sign up, what’s two years for a lifetime of education and skills.

          • Chucky3176

            Well that’s what I mean. I’m not familiar with US programs past and present, but this will also eliminate the stigma attached to manual labour jobs for young people. It’s the stigma of society that says if you work in manual labour jobs, you’re a loser so therefore you won’t be able to marry, is the biggest reason why these jobs don’t attract young Korean workers. The foundation of S.Korea was built on our parents working hard in blue collar jobs which created these limited supplies of white collar jobs. To create more white collar jobs, more young Koreans need to be diverted to blue collar jobs.

          • bigmamat

            Well since the white collar jobs seem to drying up young people will have no choice eventually. Korea is lucky it still has any industry left. We don’t have enough decent paying blue collar jobs left to drive a middle class anymore. I do know one thing importing foreign labor will drive down wages in a country as small as Korea. I understand Korea still builds ships. Here in the US where we still do that, and the people who repair them make fat scratch. It’s a specialized field of labor that requires training and those guys get paid well.

        • 금정산

          Can you post the source which details that the ROK counter attack left hundreds of soldiers dead and wounded?

          • Xman2014

            A KBS Documentary was aired recently. I saw it too. I don’t know how they got hold of the highly classified North Korean documents, but they were proved to be legitimate by verifying the unique North Korean type fonts only used by North Korean office of Kim Jong Un.

          • 금정산

            Thanks, it will be interesting to look into that. I don’t trust KBS because it has a pro-government bias – but the documents could be genuine.

      • 금정산

        Conscripts perform badly when fighting abroad for a war they have no motivation for, like Vietnam. But it would be different if they were stationed at home and fighting against an invading force.

        • David

          It was to my understanding that South Korea fought very well in the Vietnam war. Hence the nickname ‘Ghost Catching Marines.’

        • Black_Plague

          What is this based on exactly?

          In regards to Vietnam, you might want to check the total number of US, ROK, ARVN etc. KIA vs the number of North Vietnamese KIA and see who performed worse. The US didn’t even lose any battle that was of significant military consequence in the strategic level, and even the revered NVA General Giap admitted that the NVA was damn close to surrendering at certain points of the war.

          Heck, look at how the Germans pasted the hell out of much of Europe in WW2, and they used conscription right to the bitter end.

          Also, South Korea’s troops deployed in Vietnam were viewed upon favorably, and their combat record against the NVA and VC proves it.

          • 금정산

            The US in Vietnam may not have lost a single battle of significant military consequence; but they weren’t able to win enough battles to win the war either. I’m basing my opinion on what I’ve heard before about why the allies failed to win Vietnam. I’ve heard the conscripts didn’t have the motivation to fight and didn’t want to be there – so the army was ineffective. You sound like you know more than I do, so I’m happy to be corrected and to know what you think about that.

            Any kill ratio figures can be misleading because it depends on the circumstances of the battles and depends on who gets placed into the more dangerous combat situation. I imagine conscripts aren’t placed in dangerous battles because these casualties look especially bad to the public.

          • Black_Plague

            The reason why the US wasn’t able to ‘win’ the war was because there was no more political support for it at home, also partly thanks to terrible reporting by the media (such as the 1968 Tet Offensive, which militarily speaking, was a massive disaster for the N.Viets but the American media somehow reported it as if it looked like the US and its allies lost miserably).

            It was a case of the military being strung up too much by politicians at home who had virtually no idea what they were doing (much like how Hitler and Stalin micromanaged their armed forces to the point it greatly affected their troops’ performance in the strategic level).

            It’s also exactly why South Vietnam was overrun – because the US govt no longer had the stomach for it, they also cut off all forms of military aid to the ARVN, which meant the S.Viets would be fighting on limited ammo, fuel and spare parts with no way of resupplying themselves.

            I’m not sure who or where you’ve heard from regarding your claims, but this is a good read that dispels a lot of myths surrounding the Vietnam War, if not all of them;





      • David

        Every single one of your statements are dumb and supported by one source — Heinlein — who’s a god damn science fiction author. Get some better sources please. Also, you suggest that they tend to perform poorly when compared to professional armies — do you have any sources that prove this point. Probably not. Also, the purpose of the army is to protect the country. Which is the reason that the country does not have a lot of soldiers abroad. I’m sure when they are asked to fight to defend their country, they will be motivated.

        Gosh. The brains on this one.

        • Ken Morgan

          Really so refute them. Why is conscription not slavery?

          If a country did have enough patriots and it treated its people well enough to give them a stake. Something to lose there would be NO NEED to resort to slave armies.

          The acid test is removing conscription and seeing how many sign up of their own accord.. The pro-conscription types KNOW a lot of people won’t sign up and therefore force them.

          Look up something by Major General Robert Scales. Conscripts are a liability to themselves and get killed in disproportionate numbers compared to a professional army.

          It makes sense from a business perspective also. Why spend tons of money on training when they are going to leave shortly anyway? Businesses do not spend masses of money on temp employees.

          So you’ve got a bunch of blokes who’ve got a year max in actual training to fight and the rest of the year doing menial tasks (the UK national service men spent time polishing coal and painting it or peeling potatoes).

          Vs an army which spends all its time training to kill.

          Which one do you think is going to be more effective?

    • Xio Gen

      Tiger mom is China. And lots of countries have mandatory conscription. Considering the Korean Peninsula is still at war, it makes sense that they’d have conscription. Of course they should modernize and start accepting female recruits as well.

  • jonny

    people wonder why south korea has the highest suicide rate in the world among developed countries

  • Caliphate

    So this is the people who claim to be the best and bravest Asian.
    Who look down the SE asian.
    Who claim can defeat the Mujahideen.
    Who always preaching hate againts muslim.

    We muslim kick the American,destroy the arrogant Soviet Union,Stop the Mongol invasion,Beat the Roman and bring down the Persian.
    Nice self claiming korean,you need your mum after your Daddy America.
    Cant imagine what will happen to you if you facing the Mujahideen 1by1.

  • Xio Gen

    Should we call them Apache Moms?

  • Irvin

    if war ever broke out, some of them will probably cried for their mamas.

  • goldengluvsk2

    it almost sounded like hes blaming the problems that make soldiers uncomfortable in the military on overprotective parents…
    “Overprotective parents are a main reason for maladjustment among soldiers.” “and the senior soldier lightly shoved the junior soldier.” LIGHTLY SHOVED??! are they sure?? maybe things like bullying are the main reason soldiers cant adjust… I dont have kids but if I saw on the news that a soldier was bullied to death and my son, brother or any close friend is in the military at the time, I wouldnt be able to sleep at night so I cant imagine how parents are expected to endure that without saying a word. Maybe if parents felt theyre not sending their kids to their death because the military cant recognize whats discipline and whats bullying, parents could let go more easily of their kids

  • hello123

    when i was 19 years old i went to manhattan with my gf. my dad told me not to go cause he said nyc was “dangerous”. i went anyway and when i arrived at the hotel i saw him standing in the lobby and smiling. he had found out which hotel i was staying at so he could me “with me” the entire time. i screamed at him calling him a psycho stalker and he had the audacity to ask me what he did wrong. the concierge called security and told me to calm down or they would kick me out.

    my mom told me that she had told my dad to “leave me alone”

Personals @ chinaSMACK - Meet people, make friends, find lovers? Don't be so serious!»