South Korea Soldiers Train For Winter (PHOTOS)

Following an exchange of artillery fire last November, tensions between the two Koreas remain at an all-time high.And as the AFP is reporting, South Korea’s military is hoping to fight back against critics, many of whom felt the nation was s…

Following an exchange of artillery fire last November, tensions between the two Koreas remain at an all-time high.

And as the AFP is reporting, South Korea’s military is hoping to fight back against critics, many of whom felt the nation was sluggish and ill-prepared when it came to responding to North Korea’s aggressive acts. Judging from these shiver-inducing shots of South Korean soldiers undergoing winter endurance training, the troops are taking President Lee Myung-bak’s New Year’s vow to enhance combat readiness — which also includes additional certification in shooting weapons and reading maps for enlisted personnel — quite literally.

As part of their training, the soldiers ran bare-chested through frozen fields near Heonggye, and grimaced as they rubbed handfuls of snow across their torsos. As Park Syung-je at the Asia Strategy Institute tells VOA News, these additional preparations are meant to send a stronger message to North Korea that Seoul is now better equipped to retaliate strongly in case of further provocation.

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