The South Korean government has at last finalized the amendments to national service laws and guidelines for Korean nationals born overseas. According to the new Army Law, citizens with dual nationality and those who are born outside Korea will have to enlist in military as a mandatory rule. Here is what the new law states.
The Korean nationals who were born out of Korea but who have spent at least three years in the country will have no choice but to serve the military [under mandatory service]. The rules further clarify that if a person has a Korean passport, despite him being born overseas, they will be considered as Korean citizens. Even if they have a long-term residential passes (permanent resident) in overseas countries, they will have to serve Korean military in case they have spent three years or more in the country.
Previous Exemptions Cancelled
Previously, rules had exempted those citizens who had lived overseas spend extended periods in other countries from military service. But the exception to this rule is those who possess a non-Korean passport. Korean ethnicities born overseas and having a non-Korean passport will be considered as foreigners and need to serve in the military. Currently, idols - NCT's Mark and Johnny, THE BOYZ's Jacob and Kevin hold a non-Korean passport and can be exempted from mandatory military service.
The idols who have dual citizenship have a choice to either continue possessing citizenships of two countries or give up one. So, if they decide to continue with dual citizenship they will have to serve in the Korean army. If they do not want to do so, they will have to give up their Korean citizenship when they turn 18.
KPop idols including SEVENTEEN's Vernon has dual citizenship. Thus, he is likely to be asked to serve the military. Stray Kids members Bang Chan and Felix have Australian citizenship, so they will be exempted from military service. ENHYPHEN's Jake also has a dual citizenship but he still has time to choose as he has not turned 18 yet.
The new Army Rules were released by the South Korean government on June 6. It is compulsory for all able-bodied Korean men aged between 18 and 30 to serve in the country's military for about 20 months.