SEOUL, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- South Korean troops will be free of cleaning and maintenance work, such as getting rid of overgrown grass and removing snow, as the defense ministry announced Thursday it will outsource the work to private contractors.
The ministry said it will start having contractors take care of weeding and cleaning at major units in the tense border areas next year and expand it to rearguard and supporting units from 2021.
In addition to tough drills and training, South Korean soldiers are assigned to do weeding and remove snow at their units and surrounding areas.
The ministry said the work often causes stress and burden on soldiers that could possibly hamper their duties and training.
A front line unit of South Korea's general outpost (GOP) on the border is responsible for weeding a vast area that could cover multiple soccer fields, according to the ministry.
"We hope this will give soldiers time for a break at the end of the day and to focus on their combat missions," said the ministry in a press release.
The ministry estimates the plan to outsource cleaning work in military units could create more than 3,900 jobs.