월요일, 5월 20, 2024
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Under the Name of the Law!

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Under the Social Contract Theory, Marxism, and Contractarianism, the responsibilities and obligations of the government versus its citizens are discussed. Some real life examples of following the social contract theory as an everyday citizen is paying taxes, following traffic regulations, and obeying the law. Of course, the laws that protect their citizens vary upon the nation, not even every American state enforces the same rules! In order to become more aware of your international surroundings as a global citizen, here’s some differences in the legal and cultural world when it comes to laws between South Korea and the United States of America.

Photography:
Korea: It’s illegal to photograph military zones, people without consent, and office buildings. Since technically, North and South Korea are at war, wartime laws still apply in South Korea. It would pose a great threat to the country if their opponent ever found unblurred satellite images of domestic military facilities. Moreover, unlike many other countries, taking a photo of an individual without their consent can actually lead to jail time and is heavily frowned upon. According to the medium.com, “Koreans place a strong emphasis on privacy and personal space, so it’s important to be respectful of their boundaries when taking photos”.

United States: It’s legal to take unconsented photos of people, private and public property, and the outside of federal buildings.
In a free country like America, it’s not out of the norm to see people taking pictures of literally anything. It is actually a constitutional right for people to take photographs and videos that are visible in plain sight/in public spaces.

Military drafting:
Korea: All males fit for military service must be drafted and serve 18-21 months.
As recognized above, South Korea is still a belligerent country, just under a very long ceasefire. When a South Korean man turns 19, he must undergo an Impairment & Disability evaluation to determine if he is fit for military service. Most able-bodied men are required to serve 18–21 months. However, there are exceptions besides the physically unfit, such as violinists, piansits, ballet performers, and those who have won medals in the Olympics (specifically Gold and in the Asian games).

United States: Citizen and immigrant males ages 18-25 must be prepared for a military draft. “All citizens and immigrant men ages 18-25 must register with the Selective Service in case of a military draft”, according to USAhello.org. Although the United States has not had a military draft since 1973, when they withdrew troops from Vietnam, it is still required that those fit to serve must be prepared to do so in case of a military draft.

Drugs:
Korea: Don’t carry or consume illegal drugs. In South Korea, drug usage is heavily looked down upon and is even considered taboo, which is a huge culture shock for Americans and vice versa. In Korea, the possession, use, and/or trafficking of illegal drugs is punished by long jail sentences, heavy fines, and even the point of deportation.

United States: Drug and substance use is heavily regulated. Seattle Pacific University goes in depth on the general federal standing on drug possession, as follows, “Possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs is prohibited by federal law. Strict penalties are provided for drug convictions, including mandatory prison terms for many offenses. Penalties increase significantly where use of the illicit drugs results in death or serious bodily injury.” However, as a teenager living in America from first perspective, drug use is heavily common within the average teenager as there is easier access to it and the punishments are not as strict as they state to be. The Controlled Substances Act is the most important federal policy regarding drug/substance use, but it merely regulates the use of them. In fact, Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012 and other substances such as weed, followed by multiple other states.

By Bahnya Kim

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