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Got kids -- Military Service on the Cards
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rok_the-boat



Joined: 24 Jan 2004

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 7:01 am    Post subject: Got kids -- Military Service on the Cards Reply with quote

I am not entirely sure what the following means, but it may be that my five year old kid will NOT be choosing his nationality (Brit/Kor) at 17 as we thought - until AFTER he does military service. What a %^&*ing pile of shi&^ that is if true ... If I'd known that I'd never have gotten him Korean blo&^y nationality in the first place. Time to seriously think about leaving this stupid place for good.

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http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/nation/200505/kt2005051117250611950.htm

Young Men Abandoning Nationality Over New Law

By Kim Rahn, Staff Reporter
A surging number of young Korean males with dual nationality have given up their Korean citizenship in a bid to avoid mandatory military service.

The move came after the National Assembly passed an amendment to the nationality law on May 4, which will require male Koreans born overseas to serve the military even if they have dual nationality.

As the new law will take effect next month, many minors with dual nationality or their parents are rushing to abandon their Korean nationality.

The number of those who gave up their Korean citizenship used to be around 20 a month before May 4.

However, the number surged to 97 on May 6, 47 on May 7, 46 on May 9, and 143 on May 10.

The new law is in response to an increasing number of Korean mothers going abroad to give birth as a means of saving their sons from military service.

The law will allow boys, who acquired foreign nationality while their parents were staying abroad for study or work at the time of birth, to give up their Korean citizenship only after they finish the military service.

The current nationality law allows boys with dual nationality to choose one of them before they turn 17. Thus many have chosen to renounce their Korean nationality to avoid military conscription.

But, such cases of renunciation will no longer allowed from next month under the revised law.

``Most of the cases were boys born from 1988 to 1991 and only one or two cases have been for girls. Almost all of those giving up their Korean nationality are those who are subject to military service,'' said an official of the nationality affairs office at the Ministry of Justice.

With children aged 15 and under, parents can abandon their children's nationality on behalf of their children. In the case of children aged over 15, parents should submit to the authority a proxy from the children.

Most of the parents are believed to be professors, doctors, diplomats and businessmen, but they write as ``employee'' or ``running own business'' in the occupation item on the nationality documents.

A mother who came to the office on behalf of her 15-year-old son said, ``My son has to come back to Korea from the U.S. to serve the military and it will interrupt his study.''

A professor's wife with a five-year-old boy said, ``It is alright the government regulates overseas childbirths that are aimed to avoid military service, but the law treats the childbirth cases of parents staying long in foreign countries the same as the former.''

Rep. Hong Joon-pyo of the opposition Grand National Party, who initiated the bill, expressed bewilderment, as the result of the bill is against his intention.

``The nationality affairs office should conduct a strict examination on nationality abandonment, and should not approve the cases suspected to be for avoiding military service,'' Hong said.

``I'll initiate another bill to treat children who give up Korean nationality as foreigners and to deprive them of rights to have education and medical insurance in Korea,'' he added.
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Nowhere Man



Joined: 08 Feb 2004

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 7:15 am    Post subject: ... Reply with quote

Just tattoo a huge dragon across his back.

Seriously, that does suck. I think all dual-nationalities are a fleeting thing. Almost all of them are only semi-legal to begin with.

At least the choice is there. By the time he reaches legal age, the choice should be clear.

Good luck.
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Big_Bird



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Location: Sometimes here sometimes there...

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 7:56 am    Post subject: Re: ... Reply with quote

Nowhere Man wrote:
I think all dual-nationalities are a fleeting thing. Almost all of them are only semi-legal to begin with.

At least the choice is there. By the time he reaches legal age, the choice should be clear.

Good luck.


What do you mean? I have dual nationality and it is legally recognised by both countries. I have spent roughly equal amounts of time both in my childhood and adulthood in both countries. It would be a hellish choice to have to choose. And it would mean having to apply for visas to visit close family members, either way.

My son is legally going to have 3 nationalities - he has 2 already - though I must admit I'm worried about him aquiring hubby's nationality, because it might mean military service - which I am dead set against. Don't want my son being used as cannon fodder for the greedy rich establishment of any nation.
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mithridates



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Location: President's office, Korean Space Agency

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget that skipping military service is a big X on the resume of a Korean worker. There's usually a reason, but they'll always ask during the interview. Similar to 'why didn't you go to university?' or 'why didn't you give two weeks' absence at your last position?'
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Nowhere Man



Joined: 08 Feb 2004

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 8:14 am    Post subject: ... Reply with quote

What I mean is that I have 2.

And I got mine as they are clamping down on the ability to get 2.

What will happen in the future, I believe, is that they will force people to choose between one or the other.
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sonofthedarkstranger



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who is "they?" Are you referring to Korea or America?
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Nowhere Man



Joined: 08 Feb 2004

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 9:10 am    Post subject: ... Reply with quote

"They" would actually be Europe. To my knowledge, Ireland and Italy are the only countries who "still" issue for grandfathers.

But I knew Thais with dual pasports. Technically, it was "not allowed". Of course, once you left the country, it didn't matter, but it's really only a matter of time.

My prediction: The day will soon come where they (governements) will demand you choose a nationality. Such measures are already in place for many children born between 2 countries. At 18, they have to choose a nationality.
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sonofthedarkstranger



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My understanding (about the US's stance) is:
-They do not recognize dual citizenship.
-If an immigrant wants to be a US citizen, he has to swear off all allegiances to other nations,
-BUT, this does not mean that their home country disowns them as citizens. And the US has no way to compel them to do this.
-The US also does not ask anything else beyond the symbolic swearing off of allegiances. They do not require formal proof of renunciation.
-Hence, there are in fact many dual US/other citizens, although in the eyes of the US govt, the other citizenship is null and void, a fact which has no bearing on any aspect of life, really.

Maybe someday the US will require more than the symoblic vow...some formal documentation showing that they have left their old country behind forever.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure this new Korean law will end up in the courts. It will be interesting to see how they handle it.
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Big_Bird



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Location: Sometimes here sometimes there...

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 6:34 pm    Post subject: Re: ... Reply with quote

Nowhere Man wrote:
What I mean is that I have 2.

And I got mine as they are clamping down on the ability to get 2.

What will happen in the future, I believe, is that they will force people to choose between one or the other.


That's interesting. Your experience is very different to mine. It used to be a problem for Australians. Now they've changed the law and it's OK to have dual citizenship. My husband's country also used to have a problem with it, and they too have recently changed the law to allow dual citizenship. In fact, my son will have multi-citizenship - and I checked with all embassies - and that is fine!
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fidel



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: North Shore NZ

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Already a discussion on this topic. Check out
http://www.eslcafe.com/forums/korea/viewtopic.php?t=38339
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The Bobster



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an acquaintance being thrown into slavery re Korean military service.

I put it this way because he is a gyopo adoptee, born in Korea but raised in America since before he could speak. He came back to Korea to learn about his heritage, see if he could adapt to life here, and after taking classes and learning to speak Korean moderately well he met a girl and decided to marry - but by this time he had learned enough about himself and his country of birth to feel that he doesn't belong here and he never will. He married the girl a few months ago and sent her back to the States ahead of him ... only now he can't get out.

The ROK has told him he must serve and authorities here have put him on a watch list at the airport. He wants nothing else but to renounce his Korean citizenship and get back to his Korean wife in America.

Oh, yeah, here's the punchline, and you won't believe it. He has already served in the military - a helicopter pilot for the US AIR FORCE - yeah, you heard that right. He was actually mustered out of the USAF due to a knee injury but even this is not good enough for the ROK folk.

I got a buddy trying to put him in touch with lawyers and judges and the like, but there's been no relief so far. Makes me sick, actually, and I don't think I'm exagerating much with that word "slavery."
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Gwangjuboy



Joined: 08 Jul 2003
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Bobster wrote:
I have an acquaintance being thrown into slavery re Korean military service.

I put it this way because he is a gyopo adoptee, born in Korea but raised in America since before he could speak. He came back to Korea to learn about his heritage, see if he could adapt to life here, and after taking classes and learning to speak Korean moderately well he met a girl and decided to marry - but by this time he had learned enough about himself and his country of birth to feel that he doesn't belong here and he never will. He married the girl a few months ago and sent her back to the States ahead of him ... only now he can't get out.

The ROK has told him he must serve and authorities here have put him on a watch list at the airport. He wants nothing else but to renounce his Korean citizenship and get back to his Korean wife in America.

Oh, yeah, here's the punchline, and you won't believe it. He has already served in the military - a helicopter pilot for the US AIR FORCE - yeah, you heard that right. He was actually mustered out of the USAF due to a knee injury but even this is not good enough for the ROK folk.

I got a buddy trying to put him in touch with lawyers and judges and the like, but there's been no relief so far. Makes me sick, actually, and I don't think I'm exagerating much with that word "slavery."


Was it not possible for your friend to renounce his Korean citizenship earlier?
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flakfizer



Joined: 12 Nov 2004
Location: scaling the Cliffs of Insanity with a frayed rope.

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My wife heard this news through a friend and was quite alarmed. When she told it to me I said, "That can't quite be right. Look into it some more." She called up whatever gov't agency is the one to talk to about this and they said it only applies to ethnic Koreans. In fact, my wife was informed that if one of the parents is not Korea ethnically, then the boy would not have to serve in the military even if he did not renounce his Korean citizenship at age 17 or whatever. He said the reason is that a mixed-blood guy in the military would be in for way too much difficulty (I think we understand that).
As for Amercans being able to have dual citizenship. I read on a gov't website that it is perfectly legal from America's standpoint for a person to have two nationalities. They advise against it, though, as it may work to one's disadvantage if he is in the other country of which he is a citizen.
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The Bobster



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gwangjuboy wrote:
Was it not possible for your friend to renounce his Korean citizenship earlier?

Was it not possible for you to read and try to understand the situation as presented?

He came to Korea for the express purpose to learn and understand the country and culture from which he was wrenched as an infant by circumstances which he could not control. In the process, he learned that he had less in common with this country and culture than mere genetics might have led him to thinik.

At the time when he returned to Korea there wa no reaon to renounce his Korean citizenship - it would have been counterproductive, in fact - and I'm guessing that after voluntarily serving in one county's military he might have thought it was enough, especially after having been declared "unfit" due to the knee injury ...

How many peple are asked to assume a military uniform ,,,, affter having already put one on and discarded it?
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