More international troops for Iraq

01 October 2003
South Korea announced on 1 October that is in the process of assessing whether more troops should be sent to Iraq as part of an international peacekeeping force under US command. However, President Roh Moo-Hyun will only send the force after the government has gauged international and domestic opinion on the matter. 'We are of the opinion that building international consensus on peace and reconstruction in Iraq should be a very important factor in our decision [to send troops],'said Roh. 'We will make a decision on the troop dispatch after closely examining the political situation in the Arab world and what the Iraq people want.' The US asked Seoul to send troops to Iraq soon after the start of the invasion, and a 675-strong team of army engineers and medial staff was dispatched. A final decision on the latest request for an additional force is expected within a month.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi sent his top diplomatic advisor, Yukio Okamoto, on 1 October in preparation for the arrival of Special Defence Force troops in Iraq. Japan's parliament passed special legislation on 26 July allowing the SDF to be sent to non-combat areas in the country.

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