KIMPO, South Korea (AP) -- With tears streaking his dusty face, the 13-year-old boy pants up a windswept hill, hugging an M-16 assault rifle that hangs to his knees.

Down the hill, a middle-aged businessman sniffles and scoots on his back under barbed wire, his jaw muscles locked in a grimace. A drill sergeant half his age tags along, yelling."Move! Move! You are the sorriest bunch I have ever seen! You look worse than the dirt in your nose!" the sergeant barks, threatening to kick anyone who lags behind.

Welcome to "Survival Camp" -- where civilians weary of their nation's economic recession come for lessons in toughness from the South Korean Marine Corps.

"When the times get tough, you have to clench your teeth. The Marine spirit, that's what I need," says Lee Bong-hee, 51.

In the past year, Lee's small machine-tool plant lost 70 percent of its sales and he had to let half its 30 employees go, leaving him "humiliated and repentant." He was desperate for "a new beginning, from the basics."

Back to basics he gets at the Marine camp, where all conversations are shouted, where everyone has to move always in step, always on the double, where Lee is nothing more than a number, No. 133.

The Marines opened the camp in June 1997 as a public relations program. Soon parents began sending their children and companies their employees to learn the values of respect, perseverance and teamwork.

So far, more than 5,000 people have each paid about $20 to go through the five-day, four-night program.