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Military developing combat uniform for female soldiers

All Headlines 09:16 October 20, 2010

SEOUL, Oct. 20 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean military is developing its first-ever combat uniform to better fit female service members, defense ministry officials said Wednesday.

Dozens of female officers from the Army, Navy and Air Force have tested the new battle uniform since last month and it could be introduced as early as July next year if the tests are successfully completed, officials said.

"The military decided to develop the female battle uniform early this year because the existing unisex uniforms often proved to be uncomfortable for the female form," a ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

The new garment features added space in the coat for a woman's bust, an adjusted waist-to-hip ratio, and slimmer shoulders, according to the official.

Commissioned by the defense ministry, a team of clothing and design professionals led by Seoul National University professor Nam Yoon-ja is developing the new uniform, the official said.

There are about 6,000 female officers in South Korea's 655,000-strong military, but no women are allowed to serve in ground combat units.

Since 1990, female officers have actively engaged in a variety of military positions, including transportation, engineering, aviation and patrolling.


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