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Parents of dual-citizen minors - heads up re: military
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Jeff's Academy



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Location: Jeju Island

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 4:30 am    Post subject: Parents of dual-citizen minors - heads up re: military Reply with quote

Since 1998 Korea has allowed dual citizenship for children of of a foreign father and Korean mother. For sons, the deal was that they'd have to choose one or the other by their 18th bday (western age). If they didn't give up their Korean citizenship, they'd be required to join the Korean military like all others.

It seems that less than a week ago the government passed a new law. Any male in Korea with dual citizenship who doesn't give up their Korean citizenship by the end of May will be required to fulfill their military duty before doing so. This seems to be an attempt to curb the rich from giving birth overseas, maintaining dual citizenship until 18, then skipping out on military.

A story on last night's news reported that while usually 3 or 4 parents a day give up their child's Korean citizenship at immigration, this week it's been more like 100 per day.

news link:

http://kr.news.yahoo.com/service/news/shellview.htm?linkid=33&newssetid=470&articleid=2005050708480156798

Haven't found any articles in English describing the change.

Have phoned the local immigration and the ministry of justice. The former told us that they were instructed to say they didn't know what documents were needed for the process.

The latter told us that they were 100% certain that the law didn't apply to children of foreigners born in Korea...meaning those with one parent having no Korean ancestory. This was the news we were looking for. When asked how we can be certain, as in , where can we read the relevant law, the guy said it currently wasn't available anywhere that he knew.

Will spend the next number of days tracking down the actual language of the law.

While I'm certain that the target of the law is not children born to international couples, but instead those with two Korean parents trying to skate around the military requirements, one can't be sure that the former were explicitly written out of the law.

I'll post any concrete information I get in the future. If anyone else has any, it would be appreciated.

Relevant responses only, please.
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turtlepi1



Joined: 15 Jun 2004
Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 5:20 am    Post subject: Re: Parents of dual-citizen minors - heads up re: military Reply with quote

Jeff's Academy wrote:
Since 1998 Korea has allowed dual citizenship for children of of a foreign father and Korean mother. For sons, the deal was that they'd have to choose one or the other by their 18th bday (western age). If they didn't give up their Korean citizenship, they'd be required to join the Korean military like all others.

It seems that less than a week ago the government passed a new law. Any male in Korea with dual citizenship who doesn't give up their Korean citizenship by the end of May will be required to fulfill their military duty before doing so. This seems to be an attempt to curb the rich from giving birth overseas, maintaining dual citizenship until 18, then skipping out on military.

A story on last night's news reported that while usually 3 or 4 parents a day give up their child's Korean citizenship at immigration, this week it's been more like 100 per day.

news link:

http://kr.news.yahoo.com/service/news/shellview.htm?linkid=33&newssetid=470&articleid=2005050708480156798

Haven't found any articles in English describing the change.

Have phoned the local immigration and the ministry of justice. The former told us that they were instructed to say they didn't know what documents were needed for the process.

The latter told us that they were 100% certain that the law didn't apply to children of foreigners born in Korea...meaning those with one parent having no Korean ancestory. This was the news we were looking for. When asked how we can be certain, as in , where can we read the relevant law, the guy said it currently wasn't available anywhere that he knew.

Will spend the next number of days tracking down the actual language of the law.

While I'm certain that the target of the law is not children born to international couples, but instead those with two Korean parents trying to skate around the military requirements, one can't be sure that the former were explicitly written out of the law.

I'll post any concrete information I get in the future. If anyone else has any, it would be appreciated.

Relevant responses only, please.


Last week? I saw this same article when I was in Korea 6 months ago.
Possible that the law was just being put forward then and has just been approved, I suppose.
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Daechidong Waygookin



Joined: 22 Nov 2004
Location: No Longer on Dave's. Ive quit.

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So what happens to boys born aftert the deadline? Will they have an option, EVER, of giving up Korean citizenship?
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tzechuk



Joined: 20 Dec 2004

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 5:40 am    Post subject: Re: Parents of dual-citizen minors - heads up re: military Reply with quote

Jeff's Academy wrote:
Since 1998 Korea has allowed dual citizenship for children of of a foreign father and Korean mother. For sons, the deal was that they'd have to choose one or the other by their 18th bday (western age). If they didn't give up their Korean citizenship, they'd be required to join the Korean military like all others.


What about girls?
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Real Reality



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

girls?
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kangnamdragon



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Location: Kangnam, Seoul, Korea

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My understanding was that men who are not 100% Korean cannot be drafted. (sons of foreign parents.)

Gord, what's the truth?
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taegu girl



Joined: 20 Apr 2004
Location: California

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cedar had a good article on this issue when it came up a few months ago. Look it up under her name in the archives) Basically it said "half" Koreans were not allowed to serve because they came under the same heading as those others that cannot serve: ex. handicapped... Talking with other western/korean couples we know "half" koreans were excluded because of possible harrassment/hazing that can occur during army service. Hubby said the law changed that they CAN serve now IF they choose to. We were concerned about this issue also since our son has dual citizenship. But you never know, what can happen 20 years down the road if they change the laws to include half koreans.
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peppermint



Joined: 13 May 2003
Location: traversing the minefields of caddishness.

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm calling bull on the 100s of Korean parents at immigration part of the OP. I was at the Mok dong office twice in the past week and it didn't seem any busier than normal, and I didn't see many Korean people there at all.
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FUBAR



Joined: 21 Oct 2003
Location: The Y.C.

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daechidong Waygookin wrote:
So what happens to boys born aftert the deadline? Will they have an option, EVER, of giving up Korean citizenship?


You are not in favor of what the Korean government is doing?
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tzechuk



Joined: 20 Dec 2004

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Real Reality wrote:
girls?


Yes, RR.. the OP said boys have to choose one or the other before 18.. and I am wondering if the same thing applies to girls.
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bossaco



Joined: 13 Feb 2005
Location: jongro-gu

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

does the law also apply to a 10-month old baby with dual citizenship (because he was born in the US but 100% korean ancestry)?
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Jeff's Academy



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Location: Jeju Island

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To address a few questions/comments.

Peppermint, on calling the number 100 bull. Thatí»s what the news said, just reporting what I heard. But as there are over 16 immigration offices in the country, and the process takes 10 minutes...not sure anyone would see a visible increase in traffic at a single immigration site. Six per office per day, 3 before lunch, 3 after.

Tzechuk, regarding girls. The news specified boys, as girls are not subject to compulsory military service, and that was the angle of the news. I have both a son and daughter, and my interest in finding the actual language of the law relates to both of them.

Taegu girl, regarding what your husband has said about the law. Any chance he may know where we can actually read the relevant law? Ií»m sure that the intent is exactly as he said. Thatí»s what the guy at the ministry of justice said on the phone. However, this is an issue that I think most parents would like to be 100% sure of. Any help would be appreciated.

FUBAR, I think the intent is that they have to serve if they intend to spend any time in Korea after they reach the age of eligibility. Once they serveíŽI guess they can surrender it? Not sure, I really only have questions, not answers.

Bossaco, ití»s my understanding that that is exactly who the law is meant to apply to, but again, caní»t be sure without a clear understanding of the seemingly elusive law.

Again, anyone with concrete information, it would be appreciated.
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fidel



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: North Shore NZ

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another link, you have me seriously worried now and I'm looking for a definitive answer from the K government.

http://www.chosun.com/national/news/200505/200505100392.html
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thorin



Joined: 14 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If these boys plan on living their adult lives in Korea and would like to be considered a man by their peers, they should pony up and do their service like everyone else. I realize parents seek to protect their children but helping them skip out on their service may be doing them more harm than good in the long run.
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fidel



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: North Shore NZ

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thorin wrote:
If these boys plan on living their adult lives in Korea and would like to be considered a man by their peers, they should pony up and do their service like everyone else. I realize parents seek to protect their children but helping them skip out on their service may be doing them more harm than good in the long run.


I agree with you totally, however as the law stood previously they had until they were 17/18 years to make that decision themselves. Personally I don't see anything wrong with going in the military, however it's highly possible that my son might see otherwise. I want him to have the opportunity to return to Korea for vacations and not run the chance of getting thrown into a situation that he doesn't want.
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