S. Korean military saw 1,174 desert since 2013, 64.6% of deaths ruled suicide

September 22, 2015
In this Aug. 9, 2015, photo provided by the Defense Ministry, South Korean army soldiers patrol near the scene of a blast inside the demilitarized zone in Paju, South Korea. Vowing to hit back, South Korea said Monday, Aug. 10, 2015, that North Korean soldiers laid the three mines that exploded last week at the border and maimed two South Korean soldiers. (The Defense Ministry via AP)

(The Defense Ministry via AP)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — The South Korean military saw a total of 1,174 soldiers desert in nearly three years, with more than half of them struggling to adapt to life at the military barracks, a parliamentary report showed Monday.

From 2013 until now, 1,103 Army conscripts ran away from military camps, while the Air Force registered 38 desertions during the same period, according to the report by Rep. Kim Jin-tae of the ruling Saenuri Party.

The Navy and the Marine Corps reported a combined 33 desertion cases.

Difficulties in adapting to military life were cited as the overwhelming reason behind the desertions in the Army, which accounts for the majority of cases, according to the report.

Slightly more than 53 percent of Army deserters in 2013 cited maladjustment as the reason for their flight. More than 54 percent of Army deserters in 2014 gave the same reason, with the figure for this year jumping to 63 percent so far, the report showed.

“Desertion by soldiers could lead to a loss of fighting power and military morale,” Kim said, calling for countermeasures.

All able-bodied South Korean men are required to complete nearly two years of military service as the country is technically at war with North Korea since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

Over the same time period, the military posted a total of 263 deaths, with 170 of them, or 64.6 percent, being classified as suicides.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Kundae 군대 – Hanmadi