SEOUL, May 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has introduced breathing sensors in a new military prison to help prevent suicides, an informed source said Tuesday, in the first installation of such equipment at a local correctional facility.

The military installed the domestically developed sensor in about 50 cells, including solitary confinement rooms, at the prison in Icheon, 80 kilometers south of Seoul. It is to officially open next month.

The sensors are designed to monitor inmates' breathing in real time and programmed to turn on warning lights and send an alarm if they breath abnormally or stop breathing for a certain period of time

The introduction of the sensors came amid concerns that the current monitoring methods, such as having prison staff keep watch on inmates, have exposed limits and could potentially infringe on their human rights.

It marks the first time for a correctional facility in South Korea, either civilian or military, to adopt such a sensor.

The new military prison has been constructed on a site right next to the existing Military Correctional Institution.

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