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S.Korea designs high-tech winter gear for front-line troops

by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Nov 15, 2010
South Korean soldiers on the front line with North Korea will be able to bundle up this winter in new high-tech heat-generating parkas, the defence ministry said Monday.

The winter parkas have a rechargeable battery-powered device installed in an inside pocket that can generate heat for up to six hours with a single charge.

They have been issued to soldiers at front-line guard posts since late September. Winter temperatures on the peninsula often fall way below freezing.

"We plan to finish supplying soldiers at guard posts with 24,000 'functional' winter parkas and matching pants by the end of this year," Lee Sang-Beom, an official in charge of the project, told Yonhap news agency.

Lee said the ministry plans to distribute tens of thousands of such suits next year. The updated winter gear also features a newly developed camouflage pattern designed to blend in with various surroundings.

Most able-bodied men must serve at least 24 months in the military. North and South remain technically at war because their 1950-1953 conflict ended only in an armistice and not a peace treaty.

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