North Korea is making military service mandatory for young women in order to strengthen the nation’s army, according to inside sources. All high school graduates will now be forced to serve in the armed forces until they are 23 years of age. Normally in North Korea, military enlistment occurs in April and in August, and until recently, all women decided to serve voluntarily, while all men were forced in to service. Men are mandated to serve 10 years, while women are only required to serve until they turn 23. The country is trying to create a larger military force, which they call the “million man army,” since the North Korean famine in the 1990s created a high child mortality rate and a low birth rate, both of which have affected this generation of enlisters. The North Korean public is worried about the new regulation, since women in the country are usually the main breadwinners for their families.
Contributor: Johanna Hartman