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S. Korea falls silent as students sit key exam

Published on Nov 8, 2012 1:43 PM

SEOUL (AFP) - Military training was suspended, flights rescheduled and emergency calls reserved for latecomers on Thursday as hundreds of thousands of South Korean students sat a crucial college entrance examination.

As every year, the focus of the education-obsessed country narrowed for one day to ensure the smooth running of the exam, seen as a defining moment that can hold the key to everything, from future careers to marriage prospects.

Police cars and motorbikes in cities across South Korea were put on standby, available for any students needing to make a late dash to take their seats before the exam began at 8.40am (7.40am Singapore time).

In one case, police responded to a distress call from a father whose car had blown a tyre and hit a railing as he was driving his 18-year-old daughter to the test in the southern city of Busan.

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