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S. Korean army to get 1st female general in Jan.

SEOUL, Nov. 8 Kyodo

A South Korean female army colonel will be promoted to brigadier general in January, becoming the country's first female general, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.

The ministry said Col. Yang Sung Sook, 51, a medical officer at the Army Headquarters, is to assume her new rank Jan. 2 next year.

She was among 53 army colonels, 12 navy captains and 11 air force colonels promoted to one-star officers.

The future general will serve as head of the military nursing academy, the ministry said.

Yonhap News Agency quoted Yang as saying, ''As the nation's first female general, I will do my best for the military and the country...I hope this promotion will encourage other female officers.''

After graduating from Chonnam National University in Kwangju with a nursing science degree, Yang was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1973. She has since served in various medical posts throughout the military.

Women have served in the South Korean military since the Korean War ended in 1953. There are currently about 2,300 women among a force of 690,000 soldiers, according to the Defense Ministry.

For men, 26 months of military service is mandatory due to the perceived threat from North Korea.

Next year, the military is due to graduate its first class of female cadets at the Korea Military Academy in Seoul, the country's equivalent of the prestigious U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Some 92 women are reportedly now enrolled there.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Nov 12, 2001
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