RealNews

South Korean govt agrees to extend Iraq troop deployment by a yea

The South Korean government has agreed to extend the deployment of thousands of its troops in Iraq by one year until the end of 2005, officials said. The decision to extend the mission, due to expire at the end of this year, was made at a cabinet meeting led by Prime Minister Lee Hae-Chan, the prime minister’s office said. “The government will send a motion to parliament seeking approval for extending the troop deployment in Iraq by another year,” said Chung Yong-Wook, an official from the office who attended the meeting. Some 2,800 South Korean troops are based in Arbil, a Kurdish-controlled town in northern Iraq, on a rehabilitation and humanitarian mission. Another contingent of more than 700 is set to join them soon. In February parliament approved the dispatch of up to 3,600 troops for relief and rehabilitation in Iraq until December 31, 2004. But the dispatch was delayed for months against a backdrop of growing anti-war protests and the beheading of a South Korean civilian by Islamic militants. It was only in late September that South Korea completed its initial deployment of 2,800 troops in Arbil. Full Story

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