Tough rules promised for embarrassed academy

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Tough rules promised for embarrassed academy

The Korea Military Academy yesterday vowed stricter discipline after cadets were caught in a series of sexual hijinks.

With a grim visage, Army Maj. Gen. Ko Sung-kyun, head of the Korea Military Academy, announced a set of measures at the Ministry of National Defense in Yongsan District, central Seoul, to keep cadets in line.

The new measures center on the academy’s renowned three-ban policy, which prohibit cadets from drinking, smoking and marrying during their four-year education at the academy.

First introduced in 1953, the three-ban policy is a hallmark of the Korea Military Academy, the alma mater of former presidents Chun Doo Hwan and Roh Tae-woo.

The academy is also well known for forbidding cadets from having pre-marital sex. Under the new rules, all freshmen will be prohibited from any form of dating.

As for drinking, which has been allowed on special occasions on campus with approval from professors, cadets will only be permitted to drink with a special grant from the school principal. Cadets convicted of sexual misconduct such as molestation and rape will be “subject to expulsion and legal punishment with no exception,” said the academy in a statement released yesterday.

“[To boost discipline] the academy will prohibit cadets from bringing in or wearing civilian clothes on campus,” the statement said.

To admit candidates with better characters, the school said it will increase the importance of personality tests in admissions evaluations from a current 15 percent to 30 percent for next year.

In May, a senior male cadet sexually assaulted a drunken female cadet in a dormitory after a school-approved drinking party. It was the first such scandal at the nation’s elite military institution since its establishment in 1946.

The academy formed a task force after the incident. But two additional incidents were reported earlier this month. In early August, nine third-year cadets doing volunteer work in Thailand secretly visited massage parlors, a violation of the rules. And over the weekend, a fourth-year cadet was arrested for paying a 17-year-old girl for sex on July 13. It is the first time a cadet from the academy was busted for prostitution.

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