S. Korea to set up volunteer civil defense corps

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South Korea will set up a new civil defense corps next year composed of volunteers amid continuing heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the Ministry of Public Administration and Security said Monday.

The ministry said the new civil defense corps will be created by September next year with about 30,000 volunteers, including men over 40, technicians and women.

The new civil defense corps will work to protect lives and property of civilians during wartime and natural disasters.

In South Korea, all able-bodied men must serve about two years in the military and are required to be remained in the reserves for seven years after completing their military duty. Males between the ages of 20 and 40 who were not drafted for service in the military are recruited for service in civil defense units.

South Korea recently conducted a nationwide civil defense drill, the largest of its kind in 35 years, in an effort to bolster the country's readiness against emergency situations, including possible attacks from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea ( DPRK).

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