Sons of Korean Elite Renounce Citizenship to Avoid Military Service

Article from Yonhap News:

18 sons of high-ranking public officials renounced their citizenship to avoid mandatory military duty.

South Korean Military Service

Among sons of highly ranked public officials currently at post in the executive and judicial branches it appears that 18 people gave up their Korean citizenship and acquired a foreign citizenship in order to avoid their military obligations.

Congressman Ahn Gyu-baek, member of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) said that according to data from the Military Manpower Administration dated 15th of September, among the sons of currently serving high-ranking public officials (rank 4 or higher), 18 were deleted from the military records for “renunciation of one’s nationality” or “loss of nationality”.

In particular, it was pointed out that both sons of an official from the Ministry of Science, IT, and Future Planning skirted their military duties by acquiring Canadian citizenship. The remaining 16 renounced their Korean nationality by acquiring the U.S. citizenship.

For the last 3 years, we count an increase in the number of similar cases of people who were deleted from military records through renunciation or loss of nationality.

In 2012, the number of people skirting their military obligations through renunciation or loss of nationality amounted to 2,842; the next year it increased to 3,075, and last year it rose sharply to 4,386. This year from January to July, the number reached 2,374.

On the contrary, there are also people with permanent residency cards in foreign countries who do not have to fulfill any military obligation, but wish however to join the army to put their patriotic sentiment in action.

In 2011, people residing abroad who wished to enroll voluntarily rose from 200 in 2011 to double that in only 3 years, 436 people last year. For the months of January to July this year, the number of such people already reaches 316.

But independent of the year, among the sons of high-ranking officials who are residing abroad, a mere 4 have enrolled voluntarily.

For those who have been judged inept for military service during their medical examination for conscription through having a level 4 illness (reservist duty) or level 5 illness (exemption), the number of people recovering from their illness and enrolling voluntarily for active service was 227 last year and is 123 for this year up to July.

Concerning sons of officials in the executive and judicial branch, we count 10 such cases in total.

Among those are 3 people currently working as judges who had illnesses, and in spite of the fact they could avoid active duty they treated their illnesses and joined voluntarily.

According to Congressman Ahn Gyu-baek, “Those are only isolated cases but there are public officials that are good examples by fulfilling their military obligations” and added that, “[those who purposely avoid military service] should be criticized and there should be strict measures against those various methods of evasion in the case of high-ranking officials.”

Comments from Naver:


Let us know the names of those people. Now the nation will judge them.


Seriously, if you do not fulfill your military service you should not be appointed for public office. They cannot take care of themselves how can they take care of the country? If you treat your illness or change your citizenship to get enlisted voluntarily, they should immediately pass you when you take the exam for public office. It’s the only way to be an upright nation.


Phew…….. sighhh……


People like that should not be able to set foot in the country again like Yoo Seung-jun no matter what. Those guys with a foreign ID should not be able to live grandly here on the taxpayers’ money.


Make it so that once you dump your citizenship you can’t get it back to be a politician later.


Tell us the name of those bastards. Ban all of them and make them not able to come back in the country anymore.


Reveal their identities and fire them.


Who would want to go to the military when the higher-ups are like that?


What about the monkey [Seoul mayor Park Won-soon]… His son and himself, none of them went…


Their identities should be revealed.


This is not a country where their children will live… Why would they take good care of this country?


I honestly just want to beat them to death.


Those jerks who do not want to do the military service should just leave Korea.


18 sons of high-ranking officials… Abandoning their nationality to avoid military service… The sons are a problem but the parents are a bigger problem.


I think for civil servants and public company workers the hiring standard should be to have to have done military service. When those who have not done their military duty talk about national policies, it really makes me laugh.

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