Korea, South

Military:  Korea, South

Military branches:

Republic of Korea Army, Navy (includes Marine Corps), Air Force (2011)

Military service age and obligation:

20-30 years of age for compulsory military service, with middle school education required; conscript service obligation - 21 months (Army, Marines), 23 months (Navy), 24 months (Air Force); 18-26 years of age for voluntary military service; women, in service since 1950, admitted to 7 service branches, including infantry, but excluded from artillery, armor, anti-air, and chaplaincy corps; HIV-positive individuals are exempt from military service (2012)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 13,185,794

females age 16-49: 12,423,496 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 10,864,566

females age 16-49: 10,168,709 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 365,760

female: 321,225 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

country comparison to the world: 47

Transnational Issues:  Korea, South

Disputes - international:

Military Demarcation Line within the 4-km-wide Demilitarized Zone has separated North from South Korea since 1953; periodic incidents with North Korea in the Yellow Sea over the Northern Limit Line, which South Korea claims as a maritime boundary; South Korea and Japan claim Liancourt Rocks (Tok-do/Take-shima), occupied by South Korea since 1954

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

stateless persons: 179 (2012)