The Republic of Korea is a very homogeneous country in linguistic and ethnic terms. There is only one small Chinese minority of perhaps as few as 20,000 people. Religious minorities are however significant. As of September 2008, there were 408 Jehovah's Witnesses in prison in South Korea because of their conscientious objection to military service. Legislation does not permit any exemption or alternative service for those who have a religious objection to serving in the country's armed forces.
South Korea accepts all North Korean asylum seekers as citizens, under its constitution that defines the entire Korean Peninsula as South Korean territory.
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