To Koreans, alcoholic beverages are a crucial part of their daily life, and their main drink of choice is soju, a spirit made from rice. Alcohol in South Korea is cheap, easily accessible and considered the best way to release stress after a long shift at work. Most people reported drinking alcohol for socialization or leisure after working hours with friends and family.
While drinking may be considered common in South Korea, it is not unlikely to find troops drinking with each other. This especially happens when troops are deployed on a UDP or when off-duty in South Korea. For this reason, it is common for troops to distract themselves from combat training reality by taking some time off to tour the country.
For obvious reasons, troops do not drink while on duty. Coming from a community that accepts drinking as a norm, Korean troops find it a wonderful way to relieve stress just like American troops. However, continuous drinking can lead to alcoholism. The dependency on alcohol to relieve stress might lead to extensive abuse, leading to substance use disorders.
South Korean troops are famous for their binge drinking habits, which makes them seem fun such as ‘higher-lower’ or ‘Instinct Game’. Binge drinking helps increase tolerance, but in some cases, can lead to total dependence. It is no secret that Koreans love alcohol, but compared to other working adults, the South Korean military is considered the most enthusiastic. While on deployment, South Korean troops will celebrate every victory with a drink. Their seniors grant them permission to take the night off so they can socialize with other people. This also helps to reduce combat stress as they will at least change their environment.
If the South Korean troops visited a local bar or pub and meet with US troops, they would get rounds for everyone in the bar. The fun part is that they engage everyone in the bar in conversations as they try to fit in. While you might think that South Korean soldiers are always serious, they are indeed the best drinking buddies. They know how to have fun in many ways without compromising themselves.
South Korean troops are certainly among the best people to drink with because they know how to brighten the mood for everyone. However fun it may be, it is crucial to note that excessive alcohol consumption is hazardous and can lead to chronic illnesses. Moreover, becoming an alcoholic is also one of the risks. With that in mind, knocking a few back with friendly forces is the fun way to engage in diplomacy.