Anchor: South Korea's prosecution is requesting courts delay their sentencing on cases involving conscientious objectors. The request follows last week's landmark Supreme Court ruling upholding objectors' right to refuse mandatory military service on religious grounds.
Our Bae Joo-yon has more.
Report: Following the Supreme Court ruling, the widespread assumption had been that lower courts would simply follow suit and treat cases involving conscientious objectors with leniency.
The reality is more complex. Prosecutors say the Supreme Court decision set a new standard for defining what a true conscientious objector actually is. They say more will be required to see if defendants actually meet that standard.
The Ulsan District Court is one of a handful of lower courts that have already begun such trials.
The focus of the trials is no longer simply on the refusal to serve, but on whether the moral and religious grounds cited for that refusal are genuine enough to be accepted by a court of law.
Previously, defendants were given only a brief chance to defend their cases before a ruling is rendered.
Prosecutors now say they plan to call defendants and witnesses to the stand if deemed necessary.
Some 900 cases involving conscientious objectors are pending in court at present.
Many of them are expected to turn into heated legal battles under the new Supreme Court precedent.
Bae Joo-yon, KBS World Radio News.
[Photo : KBS News]