Military Pledges Reform of Barracks Life After Tragedies

The military is trying to make barracks life more civilized after a string of tragedies involving bullying and abuse of conscripts.

Under the proposals, commanders, parents, and conscripts could be in communication around the clock on social networks or other websites, and soldiers can decide on their own when to go home on furlough.

A committee tasked with reforming barracks culture was launched in the wake of the repeated assault and consequent death of a conscript. It met for the first time at the Defense Ministry on Monday.

The committee recommended several priority programs to the ministry, a spokesman said.

It urged parents to be allowed to visit soldiers on guard and sentry duties in the demilitarized zone and in ordinary military units on weekdays, and called for improvements to welfare in barracks.

After several more sessions, the committee will finalize the reforms by December.

englishnews@chosun.com / Aug. 26, 2014 13:00 KST