Interview with Lee Chae Woong, South Korean Army veteran, Part 1 of 2
From - UM Libraries
Chae Woong Lee, a 25 year old from South Korea gives an interview about his time and reflections of his military service in the South Korean Army from 2011-2013. He explains that at age 19, the duty of South Korean males is to serve in their army, and he entered after his freshman year in college for the required 21 months of service. After only 5 weeks of boot camp training, he was assigned to the frontline at the demilitarized zone (DMZ) central command center. He describes his first several months as tense but quickly realized the opposing North Korean Army was poor, starving, and unarmed, and that area land mines were more dangerous than the North Korean Army. After serving for 21 months, he describes the most difficult part at the DMZ was not the danger of North Korean war, but the restrictions from visits with family and friends and the isolation. After completing his service, he applied to a U.S. university. He was a UM senior studying economics and history during this interview. His advice to young South Koreans is not to look at entering military service as a requirement, but for its importance of learning how to become responsible for your life and for the dedication and sacrifice for country.