By Lucy Williamson BBC News, Seoul
All this training is to prepare the new recruits for external enemies, but the military is also facing a threat from within; a barracks culture that some say is helping to kill its soldiers before a real shot has been fired.
Last month, a marine corporal shot and killed four of his comrades. He said he was being bullied.
Several other soldiers killed themselves in the weeks that followed. Since then, South Korea's defence ministry has brought out new orders banning beating, cruelty, humiliation and bullying within the armed forces, to tackle what it calls a "distorted military culture".
Calls to military helplines have shot up since the recent spate of deaths. But the issue of soldiers dying in their barracks has overshadowed the military here for decades. And the deaths have often been left unexplained.
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