Commodity Online

SEOUL: In an effort to save energy, South Korean military on Monday decided to introduce a new type of training in the face of record oil prices.

A defence ministry official said that senior officers of the the army, navy and air forces had decided to lop more than $50 million off their fuel bill this year by cutting training flights, army field drills and making ships slow down.

Under the plan, flight hours for training will be cut from 150 to 135 with pilots spending more time at computer simulators instead of in the cockpit.

Along with slowing down the speed of vessels training at sea, the navy will also try to keep older and less fuel efficient ships in port to save on oil.

Resource poor South Korea is the world s fifth largest oil importer and relies entirely on import for the commodity that hit a record high over $111 a barrel in March.

South Korea, which is still technically at war with North Korea, has about 670,000 troops in its military, backed by around 28,000 US troops.

While pauper North Korea spends a large portion of its meager budget on its 1.2 million strong military, it has for years has had to keep much of its ageing air force on the ground and tanks in bunkers because of a lack of fuel.