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Expedition to Antarctica

Posted January. 01, 2008 03:24,   


Following the Korea Antarctic Research Program’s footsteps, the 3-member Vinson Massif team will climb Antarctica’s highest peak, the Vinson Massif (4897 meters), on January 6, while the 3-member expedition will leave separately on January 11 to visit foreign research sites in Antarctica and look at potential construction sites for a second Korean Antarctic research program complex until February 24.

The members of this expedition are university mountaineering club students who were chosen after a rigorous screening process July and August last year. They have prepared for the journey by training on mountains and deserted islands strengthening their stamina while studying an assigned field of research.

The oldest college member, Choi Seong-ho (26, Kyung Hee University) of the Korea Antarctic Research Program, says, “I wanted to set foot upon the icecaps of Antarctica, and now I’ve achieved my dreams. I think I’ll have to feel the cold Antarctic winds on my face to really believe it.”

One of the two female members in the Korea Antarctic Research Program, Lee Hye-ran, (22, Chung-Ang University) who enjoys rock climbing in her spare time, says, “I want to test my limits in the harsh environment. If I can, I want to climb the ice walls of Antarctica.”

Cheon Woo-yong (23, Kyung Hee University) and Eun Seong-hoon (23, Kyung Pook National University) from the Vinson Massif team boast the most physical strength. Eun joked leisurely, “I’m afraid that the Vinson Massif course will be too easy.”

2008 marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Korea Antarctic Research Program in February 1988. To further pursue development research in Antarctica, the government will invest 100 billion won to construct ice-breakers that will sail the seas in 2009, and is planning to construct a second Antarctic research program in 2011.