In this file photo, taken on Aug. 21, the gate to a boot camp, used to train reserve forces, is closed in the South Korean border town of Yeoncheon, north of Seoul. (Yonhap)
South Korea will open a two-hour online course for reserve forces next week, the defense ministry said Thursday, after their annual field training was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The training sessions for the country's 2.75 million-strong forces were supposed to kick off in September, but the government decided not to conduct the field programs as part of nationwide efforts to stem the spread of the virus.
From Monday to Feb. 21, volunteers for the distance learning can take classes on national defense, reserve forces duty, defense against nuclear or chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) warfare and first aid, according to the ministry.
Those who complete the education will be exempt from corresponding indoor courses for next year.
South Korean men are required to go through one training session of one to three days in duration per year as reservists for six years after completing their mandatory military service.
This year marked the first time the military has adjusted the training for reservists since its implementation in 1968.
"The defense ministry will continue efforts to improve our reserve forces' capabilities," it said in a release. (Yonhap)