S. Korean military to reopen education institute for troops

SEOUL, Aug. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's military said Sunday that it will reconstitute a troop education institute within the year that will be dedicated to helping soldiers better understand national threats.

The new institute to be created at the Joint Forces Military University in Daejeon, 160 kilometers south of Seoul, is a revival of an organization that was first created in 1977 under late President Park Chung-hee to mentally arm troops against the dangers posed by the North. The institute was closed in 1999 during the Kim Dae-jung administration when Seoul sought rapprochement with the North to ease cross-border tensions.

The Ministry of Defense said the institute will be tasked with coming up with contents to train troops as well as educate all commanders and troop information and education officers.

"Unlike past institutes that concentrated on ideological indoctrination, the new organization aims to make better soldiers, and allow them to have the correct views about the country and national security," a ministry official said.

He said the organization to be staffed by around 40 officers and teachers will be led by either a general officer with experience in educating troops or a civilian expert. The institute aims to be open by December.

The creation of the institute is one of the campaign pledges by incumbent President Park Geun-hye, who is the daughter of late President Park.

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