Anti-war protesters rally in Seoul

About 6000 anti-war activists have rallied near the US embassy in Seoul to protest against the dispatch of South Korean troops to Iraq.

    The demonstrators want their pro-US president to resign

    The protesters urged President Roh Moo-Hyun to cancel the

    deployment of more than 3000 South Korean troops on a

    relief and rehabilitation mission.

    They carried placards reading "Scrap South Korea-US alliance", and called on the president to resign.

    They also shouted slogans calling for closer inter-Korean relations.

    Riot police using dozens of buses formed a tight blockade around

    the embassy.

    South Korean troops are to be deployed in Irbil, a

    Kurdish-controlled town in northern Iraq, for several weeks

    beginning this month.


    The beheading of Kim Sun-Il, a 33-year-old South Korean citizen, in Iraq in June fuelled anti-war protests in Seoul, but the government vowed to push on with the troop dispatch.

    Police have battled protesters 
    near the US embassy

    South Korea has imposed a tight media blackout concerning the

    politically sensitive dispatch of troops, the third largest foreign

    force in Iraq.

    The government warned it would consider legal action - using a law to protect military secrets - against any media outlet that violated the ban.

    Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon said the decision had been taken because the "

    security of South Korean troops and civilians was paramount".

    South Korea remains the only country among those with

    troops in Iraq to impose such a blackout.



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