Saying no to mandatory military service in S. Korea means imprisonment:

Sticking to your faith and belief in the face of danger shows the worth of a man. Im Chang-jo proved his worth by accepting an 18 months long imprisonment sentence on refusing to fulfill his military responsibilities in South Korea. According to the South Korean laws every young man has to join the military and serve his nation by fighting in the on-going battles. Anyone who refuses to do so is sentenced to imprisonment. In the Suwon city of South Korea the judge couldn’t help shedding tears when she had to utter the imprisonment sentence for Im. Im is a Jehovah’s Witness. He, like 8 million other Jehovah’s Witness, cannot take part in military actions as it is against their religious beliefs.


Im did not exactly oppose South Korea’s military actions against North Korea that seems to be never ending. He just expressed his hopes that the Jehovah’s Witnesses like him are let serve the country in other ways. He feels that his commitment to his religious beliefs is a privilege. Im is now one of the 669 Jehovah’s Witnesses who have been imprisoned for refusing their military duties. South Korea has got the support of US in their battle against North Korea. The United Nations Human Rights Council is keeping a tab on the rising numbers of people who have been imprisoned for the same reason.


93.5% of the people in the world, who have been imprisoned for refusing to take part in military activities and other immoral activities, belong to South Korea. The South Korean Military Manpower Administration not only punishes the ones who have refused to serve in the military but also make their lives miserable. Finding a well paid job will be difficult for Im and others like him in South Korea. The government forced Im’s father to throw him out of his job. Im’s mother cannot stop crying because she has been through the same ordeal before when her elder son was imprisoned in the same way. The governmental rules make it mandatory for every man to serve in the military for at least 21 months. The longer the period of service the more respect a man gets. To make a successful career in South Korea one must have a military service record. The best companies won’t offer a joining letter or placement otherwise. Conscience is not a virtue in South Korea.

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