In a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon on Thursday, related ministries led by the Ministry of National Defense unveiled several revised measures on how to resolve the expected shortage of military manpower amid a shrinking population.
Officials said the country will cut slots for alternative military service by about 13-hundred from the current 75-hundred slots but it'll allow doctoral and masters degree holders, those with specialized industrial skills and sailors to work at state-designated institutes and companies instead of serving in the military.
While the quota for experts enrolled in doctoral programs will remain unchanged at one-thousand experts with master degrees will be gradually reduced by 20-percent to 12-hundred.
Instead, the number of people assigned to small-and-medium-sized enterprises is to be increased a measure aimed at helping SMEs retain personnel.
In such cases, companies engaged in industrial materials, components and equipment will receive priority.
The number of onboard ship reserve personnel who can alternatively work as merchant sailors to take part in the transport of critical materials in the event of war, will be lowered to 800 from one-thousand.
Changes were minimal regarding those allowed alternative service for achievements in the arts and sports in which less than 45 people are eligible annually.
But officials said it'll make the process more transparent to raise fairness.
Despite expectations of a possible revision to include exemptions for K-pop stars like BTS those cases were not included in the recent revision.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.