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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Seoul Army Ponders Renting Land

SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea is looking into leasing military training grounds in the Russian Far East due to a shortage of space within its own densely populated borders, a military officer in Seoul said Thursday.

But a possible adverse reaction from North Korea, which borders Russia and considers Moscow a key ally, makes it difficult for the South to pursue the idea vigorously, the officer said.

"The army has considered leasing Russian training grounds for our mechanized units," the South Korean officer said by telephone. "But no decision of any kind has been made."

South Korean artillery and tank units often travel for hours to sparsely populated areas for training. But complaints about noise and safety concerns persist among local residents, which prompted the military to consider using space in the Russian Far East, the officer said.

South and North Korea are technically at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.