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NEC, One out of Ten Candidates` Sons Exempted from Military Service

NEC, One out of Ten Candidates` Sons Exempted from Military Service

Posted June. 06, 2002 07:21,   


Another fact-finding about June 13 local election candidates - thier sons` militry service. 10,904 were called up for military service, of which 1,201, or 11%, were exempted from the duty.

According to a recent report released by the National Election Commission on June 5 over its Website (www.nec.go.kr), 7.296, or 66.7%, of the total 10,904 completed their duties, while 1.340, or 12.3%, are currently serving their terms. And up to 1,094 has delayed joining the military to continue their study either at home or abroad or for some other reasons.

The number stays in the average exemption rate of 6.8% to 17.3% recorded by men aged between 23 and 32. However, those running for gubernatorial offices happened to have more sons exempted from military duty at 18.2%, or 10 of 55.

Those running for district heads were asked to send their 874 sons to the military, of which 106, or 12.1%, were later exempted. 196, or 14.1%, of 1,389 sons of those wishing to join local legislature did not have to fulfill their duties, while those running for district offices sent 889, or 10.4%, of the total 8.586 drafted.

Of those running for gubernatorial offices, Lee Han-hee, Grand National Party candidate to Gwangju mayor race, saw his second son join the home front service due to his chronic hepatitis, while Jin Nyum, Millennium Democratic Party`s Gyunggi governor hopeful, was exempted from the service himself. Lee`s first son, however, completed a full service in the navy. Jin, whose poor eyesight prevented him from serving, also saw his first son exempted from the duty again due to poor eyesight in 1984, but later sent his second son to the army for a full service.

Sin Gu-beom, GNP candidate to Jeju governor race, who once joined the Korea Military Academy but failed to complete the courses, reported that his first and second son were not able to serve military duties due to some ailments, while the third served the entire term in the army.

Han Eeh-heon, MDP candidate to Busan mayor race, Jung Ho-sun independently running for Gwangju mayorship, and Kim Joon-gi, Democratic Labor Party candidate to Gyunggi governor race said that their sons, first, first and second respectively, are working as engineer on the industrial front, instead of joining the forefront.

Shim Dae-pyong, United Liberal Democrats` candidate running for Chungnam governorship, was the most loyal when it comes to military service, with all three of his sons and himself served or are currently serving their duties. Although Shim ended his service rather earlier as private, his first and second son completed their terms as first lieutenant and corporal in the army respectively. And the last is still staying in the army as captain.

Lee Myung-bak, GNP hopeful to Seoul mayor race, sent his first son to the army where he completed his duty, while Lee Moon-ok, Seoul mayor candidate of the Democratic Labor party reported that his first and second son fulfilled their duties and were discharged as staff sergeant and corporal. Kim Min-suk from MDP was not subject to this particular survey.

Meanwhile, Kim Jin-sun, GNP candidate running for Gangwon governorship, and some others asked the election commission not to disclose why their sons were exempted. Therefore, the 68 exemption cases did not come up with specific reasons.

Jeong-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com