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100,000 petition to enact draft for South Korean women

As tensions rise on the Korean Peninsula, over 100,000 South Koreans sign petition to require women to serve in army

South Korean female soldiers earn the Expert Infantryman Badge.

South Korean female soldiers earn the Expert Infantryman Badge. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- As tensions are reaching a boiling point on the Korean Peninsula with North Korea announcing the successful test of a hydrogen bomb on Sunday, over 100,000 South Koreans have signed a petition calling for women to be required to serve in the army, reported Apple Daily.

On Aug. 30, a netizen on wrote a online petition requesting a change in the constitution stating, "In reality only men are required to serve in the military, but this should be changed to require the same of women." As of Tuesday (Sept. 5), the online petition, posted on South Korea's Blue House (South Korean equivalent of the American White House) website, already surpassed 100,000 signatures.

The petitioner emphasized that, "In addition to the main enemy North Korea, South Korea is surrounded by Japan, China, and Russia, and for that reason it is essential to continue the conscription system. The conscription system is only for men, but women seek equality and claim that 'women are just as good as men, and even have abilities men do not,' and in that case, women should also be subject to the same compulsory duty as men. As a result, the number of active duty and trained soldiers in the country will increase."

The petitioner also does not believe that the physical differences between men and women is a problem. He reasoned, "If physical differences between men and women have been used as an excuse from serving in the military, they why are females able to serve as police officers?"

Currently, it is only compulsory that men serve in South Korea's army, thus only 10,000 of the 630,000 active-duty personnel are women, according to the South Korean military. Of those women, only 1,100 are in the infantry.

Updated : 2021-10-18 16:41 GMT+08:00