Policy Concerns of Low Fertility for Military Planning in South Korea
The South Korean military currently is the sixth-largest in the world. But years of low birth rates have resulted in declining numbers of young men available for military service, and the country now faces the pressing question of how to ensure national security in the face of inevitable troop reductions. Some options for offsetting this shrinking recruit pool might seem obvious, but the complex economic, social, and cultural reality of South Korea make them unlikely to be embraced. While the recruit pool appears nearly adequate at present, South Korea must act quickly to develop the leaner, more diverse, and more technologically based military necessary for the country to maintain a viable military force.
© 2011 East-West Center (EWC)
Elizabeth Hervey Stephen