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Military to begin reserve forces' training next month after 2-year hiatus

Defense 10:44 May 23, 2022

SEOUL, May 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will resume an annual field training program for its reserve forces in a scaled-back manner next month after two years of suspension caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the state military recruitment agency said Monday.

Starting June 20, some 500,000 reservists will be called upon to complete the program, consisting of field drills and an online session lasting eight hours each, according to the Military Manpower Administration.

In the pre-pandemic era, most reservists were required to engage in three days of on-site training at nearby military bases.

The administration said reservists in Uljin, Samcheok, Gangneung and Donghae -- designated as special disaster zones reeling from the aftermath of wildfires in March -- are exempt from the training.

It added it will prepare strict anti-virus measures, considering the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to end.

The reservists' mobilization training did not take place in 2020 and last year. It marked the first such cancellation since the country introduced the training program in 1968.

All able-bodied Korean men are to serve in the military for around two years in a country that constantly faces North Korea's military threats. They must also serve as reservists for about eight years from their discharge.

Shown in this file photo taken April 22, 2022, is a training center for reservists in the central city of Sejong. (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr
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