Korea: September 5, 2004


A major draft dodging scandal erupted as police opened investigations on fifty of the 463 professional baseball players in South Korea. Physically and mentally fit young men are conscripted at age twenty for two or three years of service. There are some exemptions available for athletes. If a young man wins a medal at the Olympics or Asian Games. he is exempt. Physical or mental problems will exempt you as well. It is possible for an athlete to get an exemption for a physical defect, but it is rare. The current scandal involves bribes and faked blood tests on a large scale. The baseball players see themselves losing lots of money by being in the army during prime ball playing years. It's not just athletes that are doing it. Middle and upper class parents are willing to pay bribes to keep their sons out of uniform. The draft is seen as neccessary, but enough of a bother to break the law to beat it. There are more kids available for the draft than are needed, so there are plenty of physical or mental exemptions available. 



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