S Korea extends troops' Iraq mission

The South Korean government has agreed to extend the deployment of its troops in Iraq by one year until the end of 2005.

    About 2800 South Korean troops are based in Arbil, north Iraq

    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, his 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.

    About 2800 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 3600 troops for relief and rehabilitation in Iraq until 31 December 2004.

    Protests

    But the deployment was delayed for months against a backdrop of growing anti-war protests and the beheading of a South Korean civilian by a group in Iraq.

    It was only in late September that South Korea completed its initial deployment of 2800 troops in Arbil.

    Political analysts say the government motion will easily win approval from parliament since the ruling Uri Party, which has a majority in parliament, has pledged to endorse an extended mission.

    The conservative main opposition Grand National Party has also approved the troop deployment in Iraq.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    The US exaggerating and obsessing about foreign threats seems quite similar to what is happening in Russia.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months