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Outdated materials used for chemical warfare exercises

Korea’s Defense Ministry has its soldiers use aging and out-of-date materials for chemical and biological warfare exercises, raising concerns over their health and drill practicality.

Citing a report submitted to the National Assembly’s national defense committee, lawmakers said that the ministry had only disposed of 44,367 materials out of 165,600 between 2008 and 2011.

The rest, including 29-year-old mask filters and 13-year-old emergency personal decontaminants, are still being used. Soldiers are exercising with the same protective gear that has been used over the last 26 years.

The committee criticized the ministry for poorly managing its program that evaluates the reliability of such materials and comes up with standards.

By Park Hyong-ki (