SEOUL, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- South Korean music students have attempted to dodge the country's mandatory military duties by deliberately gaining weight, the state military conscription agency said.
Twelve music students, studying classical singing at a university in Seoul, are accused of excessive weight gain and sharing weight gain tips with their peers, according to the Military Manpower Administration.
The students consumed protein power for rapid weight gain in a short period of time or drank aloe vera juice on a physical examination day as they believed the body would absorb water slowly because of aloe vera gels.
One man put on more than 60 pounds to be disqualified in a physical examination in 2016. He weighed 170 pounds but increased his body mass index excessively to weigh 234 pounds, to be classified for a less demanding, alternative form of public service.
South Korea requires all able-bodied men to serve in the military for 18 months and up to more than two years. The country has seen many cases in which young men use a variety of tactics to avoid military duty.
The state conscription agency said the students tried to avoid the military duty with concerns that their signing career would be put on hold, and thought they could continue signing while serving for alternative public service duties.
The investigation has also discovered that the students shared tips for gaining weight on mobile messengers.
Military dodgers face prison terms of 1-5 years.