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Last Updated: Friday, 28 December 2007, 08:17 GMT
S Korea extends Iraq deployment
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun (file image)
Mr Roh said close co-operation with the US was vital
Parliament in South Korea has voted to extend its country's troop deployment in Iraq for another year.

It voted by 146 votes to 104 to keep some 650 Korean troops in Iraq until December 2008.

The government had originally said it would bring all its troops back this year, after three years in Iraq.

But it decided in October to only repatriate half of them. About 600 troops have been brought back in the past few weeks.

Extending the troops' mandate has been a controversial issue in South Korean politics.

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But President Roh Moo-hyun - when he announced the move in October - made it clear he wanted to please the United States, at a time when talks on dismantling North Korea's nuclear facilities were a priority.

South Korea first sent troops to Iraq in 2003, to do reconstruction work in the northern town of Irbil.

Since then troop levels have been cut from 3,600, amid mounting public opposition in South Korea to the presence of their troops in Iraq.



SEE ALSO
S Korea extends Iraq deployment
23 Oct 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: South Korea
21 Dec 07 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Iraq
22 Dec 07 |  Country profiles

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