Date: November 04, 2014
Summary: North Korea is introducing a voluntary extension of its national service due to a critical shortage of troops in the country, while its mandatory service already stands at 10 years, the longest conscription period in the world. This has not been officially announced yet, but the ruling party is currently encouraging soldiers to volunteer to serve one or more years beyond their service period.
Opinion: North Korean authorities should look into more fundamental causes of troop shortage. The shortage of soldiers is in large part due to the devastating famine that affected North Korea in the mid to 1990s, referred to as the ‘Arduous March’. During this period many North Koreans died of starvation or malnutrition caused by chronic economic mismanagement and natural disaster. However, the government supported the policy of prioritizing the armed forces. Despite this policy, North Korea’s army is suffering from shortage of food supply and other sort of supplies because the citizens are not capable of producing anything due to poverty. What is worse is that North Korean soldiers have to undergo intensive trainings and provide a large source of cheap labor when the regime requires it. Who would want to volunteer for longer period or even want to join the army if they cannot get fed properly and stay in unpleasant place while they have to train and work hard?
(1) Forage [VERB] If someone forages for something, they search for it in a busy way
- Synonyms: hunt, grub, rummage
- Antonyms: aid, assist, neglect
- Korean Equivalent: 먹이를 찾다, ~를 찾다
- Personal Sentence: They were forced to forage for clothing and fuel
(2) Smuggle [VERB] If someone smuggles things or people into a place or out of it, they take them there illegally or secretly
- Synonyms: deal, push, hide, export
- Antonyms: find market
- Korean Equivalent: 밀수하다, 밀반입하다
- Personal Sentence: Individual drug dealers often smuggle drugs in small portions.