How do young people avoid compulsory military service in South Korea?

Students at a South Korean university have resorted to a “strange trick” to avoid compulsory military service in the country, which takes two years, local media reported.

Twelve students at a music school in the capital Seoul ate large amounts of pizza and hamburgers, reaching five meals a day, to gain weight and thus avoid military service.

But those who take the fitness test before entering compulsory service have discovered that the students deliberately increased their weight, but their attempts failed.

The authorities said that students accused of trying to avoid the compulsory recruitment program had all participated in weight-gain strategies via an online chat group.

South Korean laws stipulate that all men capable of working in the country should serve for two years in the military before they reach the age of 28 and must pass the pre-recruitment examination.

Military officials said the students had deliberately gained weight by consuming “high-calorie proteins, supplements and drinking plenty of juices.”

One official said one student earned 30 kilograms in six months. Local newspapers reported that the case had been referred to the judiciary and that if convicted they would force the students to perform compulsory service for two years.

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