Military mulls leasing text-only mobile phones to soldiers
By Kim se-jeong
Soldiers will soon be able to send text message.
According to a military source, the Ministry of Defense is seriously reviewing the idea, in an effort to improve the quality of enlisted men’s lives by allowing communication with their family members, friends and loved ones.
"The idea is designed to lease a mobile phone that only allows texting to soldiers who want the service," the source said on condition of anonymity.
Under the current policy, possession of mobile phones is not permitted while they’re on duty. On-base access to the Internet is strictly prohibited as well.
The plan was discussed at a closed-door conference last week, presided by Vice Defense Minister Lee Yong-gul, on issues to improve
the welfare of soldiers, according to the source.
Two years of military service is mandatory for all healthy young South Korean men, whose number is estimated at 650,000.
It’s not going to be a 24-hour lease. Instead, soldiers will be given a limited timetable during which they can send text messages.