By Jung Sung-ki
A five-day international training course on protection from chemical warfare opened here Monday, the Ministry of National Defense said.
Twenty-five people from 17 member states of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) are participating in the assistance-and-protection course jointly organized by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), it said in a news release.
South Korea joined the 12-year-old CWC and became a member of the OPCW in 1997. A total of 188 countries around the world have joined the chemical weapons non-proliferation pact, which has yet to be signed by a few countries, such as North Korea, Israel and Syria.
This is the fifth training course since 2005, according to the release.
The course offers a basic introduction to the use of individual and collective protective equipment, and also monitoring, detection and decontamination techniques, it said.
It also aims to facilitate the exchange of information and experiences regarding the implementation of Article X of the CWC and will provide a forum for the discussion of future cooperation among participating member states. The course involves a practical emergency-response exercise.
Participating countries in the Seoul event include Cambodia, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Yemen and Ukraine.