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Military guardhouse system to be abolished by 2019

The 'guardhouse,' a word synonymous with 'punishment' in the military, is expected to disappear.

The National Assembly defense committee voted on a bill for the partial revision of the military service law, the military pension law, and the defense business law.

According to the revised bill, the guardhouse, one of the disciplinary actions taken against soldiers, will be abolished in January 2019. Instead, the military will diversify punishment through measures such as salary reduction, shortening of vacation, military discipline training, detention and reprimand. The period of mandatory military service will be increased by as long as the period of military discipline training imposed.

This change comes in the wake of criticisms that the previous guardhouse system involved excessive punishments such as physical detention, transfer to other units and extension of service. There were also concerns that it was being used in cases where criminal punishment would have been more appropriate. With the passing by the committee of these three amendments to the military civilian law, which were initiated by lawmakers Lee Chul-hee of the Minjoo Party of Korea and Chairman Kim Sung-chan of the Liberty Korea Party, the guardhouse will disappear into history.

"We are getting rid of the guardhouse in order to improve military human rights, and looking into ways to awaken wrongful soldiers and protect human rights, that will impose no additional costs," Song Young-moo, the defense minister, said at the meeting.

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By Chul-Hwan, Kim < >


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