President Moon Jae-in is unlikely to fulfill his election pledge to reduce the compulsory military service period to 18 months within his term.
The Defense Ministry had planned to shorten the period in stages starting in July, with the aim of cutting the current period of 21 months to 18 by 2020.
However, KBS has learned exclusive information that the ministry concluded it would be difficult to even start the process this year.
A senior defense official explained that the reduction could come after the military's structural reforms and the establishment of the Kill Chain preemptive strike system, which will take years.
The official recently conveyed the position to the parliamentary defense committee, suggesting it is desirable to pursue the reduction after the military reforms.