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Blessed are the Peacemakers: Military service in South Korea

In: The Economist, 2019, pp. 48-48

This article was prompted by the Supreme Court's ruling in November 2018 that refusing to accept 21-14 months of military service for religious or conscientious reasons would no longer be a crime (overturning its own earlier 2003 ruling). The author notes that the small number of past objectors have usually been Jehovah's Witnesses, and that courts would in future judge the sincerity of pacifist convictions which they might reject, and that, if CO status were accepted, three years alternative service as a prison guard was required.  But recognition of the right to be a CO makes it a more socially acceptable position, and might also help to mitigate the harsh conditions of military service.