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S. Korea completes construction of 2nd research base in Antarctica

South Korea on Tuesday said it has completed the construction of its second research base in the Antarctic, becoming the 10th country to have more than one research station in the frozen continent.

The completion of the Jang Bo-go Antarctic Research Station will be marked Wednesday in a ceremony at the base that will be attended by some 300 people, including the country's parliamentary speaker, Rep. Kang Chang-hee, and representatives from the research stations of the United States, New Zealand and Italy, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.

Plans for the Jang Bo-go station began in 2006 in a bid to build a base in the southeastern part of the Antarctic.

The country's first research station -- the King Sejong Station -- is located on King George Island in the western part of the Antarctic.

South Korea secured international approval for its second research base at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in June 2012. The construction for the Jang Bo-go station began in December that year.

The new base consists of 16 facilities covering 4,458 square meters of land that can house up to 60 people, including a 16-member staff that will be permanently stationed there, according to the ministry.

The ministry said the Jang Bo-go station is unique in that it uses solar and wind energy to significantly cut its use of fossil fuel.

"The two research bases will take on separate roles as the Sejong station will focus on marine environment and marine life while the Jang Bo-go station will focus on the continent that will include the research of glaciers, meteorites and the ozone layer," it said.

"Also, the Jang Bo-go station will provide a test bed to the country's industrial, academic and research sectors for the development of new plants, equipment, robots and materials that will be used in extreme conditions."  (Yonhap News)