SEOUL, The Ministry of National Defense on Wednesday issued a code of conduct to all armed services on maintaining political neutrality online and offline ahead of the June local elections.

The ministry also warned of "stern punishment" against military personnel who violate their duty to stay politically neutral and called on senior officials to give related education to their subordinates.

The move follows probes into allegations that military organizations such as the cyber command undertook clandestine political maneuvers years ago to sway public opinion in favor of the then-conservative government.

Under the code of conduct, military personnel cannot engage in any acts on social media that could raise questions over their political neutrality. They are also not allowed to form or join a political group or express views in favor of or against a particular party or politician.

Source: Yonhap News Agency