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Policy concerns of low fertility for military planning in South Korea

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  • Policy concerns of low fertility for military planning in South Korea
  • Stephen, Elizabeth Hervey
  • East-West Center


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Title Policy concerns of low fertility for military planning in South Korea
Similar Titles
Material Type Reports
Author(English)

Stephen, Elizabeth Hervey

Publisher

Honolulu:East-West Center

Date 2011-11
Series Title; No AsiaPacific Issues
Pages 102
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Social Development < Population
Government and Law < National security
Holding East-West Center

Abstract

The South Korean military currently is the sixth-largest in the world. But years of low birth rates have resulted in declining numbers of young men available for military service, and the country now faces the pressing question of how to ensure national security in the face of inevitable troop reductions. Some options for offsetting this shrinking recruit pool (such as increasing fertility, increasing immigration, and increasing the number of women in the military) might seem obvious, but the complex economic, social, and cultural reality of South Korea make them unlikely to be embraced. The best focus for immediate action is to stabilize or increase service terms and to encourage development and implementation of high-tech security systems. While the recruit pool appears nearly adequate at present, South Korea must act quickly to develop the leaner, more diverse, and more technologically based military necessary for the country to maintain a viable military force.