Via a reader tip comes this story about the poor quality of food that soldiers in the ROK Army are served:
A recent National Assembly investigation into food in the military revealed that a South Korean soldier is fed for just ₩2,051 won (1.42EUR/1.85USD) per meal, an amount far lower than that given to American soldiers and even less than most Seoul elementary school pupils receive. Images of inedible-looking barrack meals in the news have recently inspired outrage and accusations that the South Korean military wastes its massive budget.
The member of the National Assembly behind the food budget report also made news recently for revealing another shocking military revelation: according to the most recentMinistry of Defense statistics, 64% of all deaths among members of the armed forces during the past five years have been from suicide. [KoreaBang]
You can read the rest at the link, but I have eaten at ROK Army chow halls before and they served the typical Korean staple dishes of kimchi, rice, noodles, eggs, etc. I thought it was pretty good, but if I had to eat the same food every day I can see how that would get old. As far as the suicide numbers, it isn’t like the ROK Army is in combat right now so it makes since that suicides would make up a large portion of their deaths. So the 64% number in the article really doesn’t mean much. What would be a more interesting statistic is a comparison between the ROK military’s suicide rate and the general population in Korea. Even a comparison between the suicide rates between the ROK and US militaries would be interesting.