ROK Drop

Avatar of BillBy on April 3rd, 2012 at 11:37 am

North Korea cuts minimum height for military conscripts as past famine consequences hit

» by in: North Korea

If you’re male, North Korean, and 4’8 are taller you have guaranteed employed for 10 years.

NORTH Korea has reduced the minimum height requirement for military conscripts because the current generation facing call-up was stunted by a deadly 1990s famine, a new report says.

Daily NK, a Seoul-based online newspaper run by North Korean defectors, said the military has cut the minimum height to 142 centimetres from 145 cm.

All able-bodied North Korean males aged 16-17 must begin mandatory service that lasts about a decade. Women deemed fit must also serve for a shorter period in the 1.2 million-strong military, the world’s fourth largest.

“There were too many short boys who don’t meet the previous height requirement… so the military is now accepting all who are taller than 142 cm,” said a North Korean source quoted by Daily NK.

The average height for South Korean boys of the same age is about 172 cm.

North Korean boys facing conscription this year were born in the mid-1990s – at the height of the famine that devastated the impoverished communist state and killed hundreds of thousands.

Child mortality during this period was high and the fertility rate low, causing an acute shortage of new conscripts, said the source.


UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos, after a separate visit last October, said that in northern regions almost one in two children were chronically malnourished.- The Australian

I’ve been out in the boondocks* in the Philippines, rural Leyte and a Samar coastal village, and I don’t remember encountering children that skinny.

* Bondok is the Tagalog word for mountain and the word origin for Boondocks.  Hat tip- Doug at OTB

  • Teadrinker
    5:05 pm on April 3rd, 2012 1

    Few analysts project that the North Korean government will last long enough to see the next decade, so the South Korean government better start encouraging more people to get into the medical field because they are soon going to need it.

  • Thomas Lee
    6:30 am on April 4th, 2012 2

    TD: How long have we been hearing that? I remember when KIS died… there were predictions then that the regime wouldn’t last more than 5 to 10 years….. that’s been how long ago now?

  • Teadrinker
    4:54 pm on April 4th, 2012 3


    Remember, those 5 to 10 year predictions were linked to the assumption that Kim Jong il could die at any moment. Well, he’s dead now and he’s been replaced by what must be the most uncharismatic of his sons (You’d want a figurehead to have some charisma, don’t you think?).

  • Jeff
    5:19 pm on April 4th, 2012 4

    Food? Nope….they need skinny jeans

  • Glans
    5:53 pm on April 4th, 2012 5

    Teadrinker, a charismatic figurehead would likely become the real boss.

  • JoeC
    6:36 pm on April 4th, 2012 6


    Jong-un is also a slacker.

  • Teadrinker
    5:03 am on April 5th, 2012 7


    Doesn’t surprise me. I’m mean, just look at him. No wonder there weren’t any published pictures of him until last year.

  • Teadrinker
    5:07 am on April 5th, 2012 8

    “An unnamed source who said he was a school friend of Kim said that Pak Un — as Kim was known there — often did not show up at school until afternoon, preferring instead to play video games or watch basketball on television.”


    That’s what they meant when he likes basketball. By the looks of him, I had a feeling he never was a player.

  • Teadrinker
    5:07 am on April 5th, 2012 9

    Correction: That’s what they meant when he said he likes basketball.


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