January 7, 2010:
South Korea, noting the increase in complaints from military commanders about how unprepared new recruits are, has increased basic training from five weeks to eight, or even ten, weeks (depends on the branch the army). Another change is to impose standards more strictly during this training. Recruits who cannot keep up, will repeat the training until they qualify. This approach has been used in the United States since World War II, but the South Koreans are dealing with a new generation of conscripts who don't take their military as seriously as previous generations. So boot camp commanders are no longer allowed to just promote everyone. Recruits have to know their stuff, before they can leave. Thus the army is adapting to a radically new (for South Korea) generation of conscripts.