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N. Korean defectors experience barracks life with special forces

All News 16:10 July 19, 2016

SEOUL, July 19 (Yonhap) -- Teenage North Koreans who defected to the South are experiencing barracks life first hand with the country's special forces in a program aimed at boosting their confidence so they can better adjust to life here, the Army said Tuesday.

It said 41 students from Yeomyung School in Seoul are training with troops of the 3rd Brigade of the country's Special Warfare Command.

"They arrived at the barracks on Monday and will stay till Wednesday to learn about military discipline and even undergoing mock training drills like practicing parachute jumps and carrying boats," an official said.

The alternative school, established in 2004, aims to help young North Korean defectors adjust to life here, and offers classes that can help them successfully settle down in the democratic South.

This is the second year that the Army is offering a military experience program to the young defectors.

Jang Jeong-hyeok, 19, is one of the participating students. He came to South Korea three years ago and now dreams of becoming a champion in mixed martial arts in South Korea.

"I crossed the border at the risk of my life. I feel now more confident with the help of this special program provided by the the country's elite forces," he said.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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