Military examination criteria revised

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Military examination criteria revised

The Ministry of National Defense has tightened its criteria for joining the military for the first conscription examination of this year, which starts Wednesday.

The ministry revised a total of 29 physical and mental examination standards, notably strengthening regulations for mental illnesses and severe vision problems.

“We regularly revise our physical and mental examination regulations to compensate for systemic problems,” said a ministry official. “This time, we reinforced some criteria to make sure those who are mentally and physically healthy can join the military.”

In Korea, males between the ages of 18 and 35 are required to complete compulsory military service for 21 to 24 months. The conscription examination is divided into physical and mental assessments. Based on the results, examinees are then divided into seven classes. Those in classes one to three are then sent to serve at their posts.

In terms of physical health, the ministry announced that those who have severe vision problems - farsightedness or astigmatism - will be categorized in the fourth class. Those who have breathing difficulties, like obstructive sleep apnea, will also to be placed in the fourth class, were they are assigned to work in social or civil service facilities for 24 months.

Mental health revisions were also instated.

Previously, those who have received treatment for at least a year for depressive mood disorders, or who have been hospitalized for at least a month, are categorized as class five.

The revised regulation, however, states those who have received at least six months of treatment or hospitalized for at least a month will now be placed in the fifth class.

Those in class five are technically exempt from the military but are required to be on call for wartime labor service mobilization.

Those in class six are deemed to have physical or mental health conditions too severe to allow them to serve. To be classified to the seventh class, however, indicates that the recruit’s health status is considered subject to change. They are temporarily exempt but required to retake the exam in 24 months.


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