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

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.