BACKGROUND: Since 1997, the annual case occurrence of vivax malaria in the Republic of Korea (ROK) has exceeded 1,000 cases. The military has been an important source of the current outbreak. We collected informations about malaria cases (soldiers, veterans and civilians) that occurred in 2002, and analyzed the characteristics of the current outbreak. METHODS: Informations about the day of onset, region, and occupation of malaria cases of soldiers, veterans and civilians were collected through the National Institute of Health. RESULTS: Out of a total of 1,757 cases, 425 cases (24.2%) occurred in the military, 468 cases (26.6 %) among the veterans, and 864 cases (49.2%) among the civilians. Ten-day incidence reached its peak in the late July to the mid August. Areas such as Paju, Ganghwa, Yeoncheon and Cheolwon showed the highest prevalence. CONCLUSION: Presently, the current malaria outbreak appears to be in decreasing phase, however, attention should continuously be paid to prevent further spreading of malaria.