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Date : January 29, 2015
Girls in the army: North Korea extends compulsory military service to women
   http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2015/01/28/2015012801951.htm… [894]
North Korea is introducing a “Mandatory” national service extended to Women  due to a critical shortage of troops in the country.

The source from North Hamkyung Province told Daily NK, “Pyongyang has officially announce its policy to introduce mandatory military service extends to women. Women between the ages of 17 to 20 must serve in the military.”

The enlistment of North Korean army are conducted on every April and August. In the past, girl soldiers underwent only selective conscription. however, as of 2015, women will have to serve maximum 6 years of mandatory duty in the armed forces. It will apply to all school graduates. 

Mandatory service in the country already stands at 10 years for man, and is the longest conscription period in the world. However, the source explained that “mandatory service for women is only up to the age of 23.” adding that there has been a rumor of men’s service being extended by a year, but the government has yet to officially announce its policy to extend the term. 

One of the main reasons is that thousands of children starved to death during the Arduous March [the North Korean famine of 1994-1998], or low birthrate of women. This means there are now fewer young people of conscription age. As a result, the ruling party has turned to female soldiers to fill the gaps.

[Source: Chosun Ilbo]

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