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Sending Troops Is Up to Korea’s Decision

Posted September. 06, 2002 23:08,   


Since it was known that the attacking Iraq by America was impending, the George W. Bush Administration said that it was for sure that they could expect all kinds of support from Korea if the attack was started.

The Deputy Defense Secretary Dov Jakheim said during an exclusive interview with the Donga Daily News held at his office, “I think Korea, like we did before, will always help us by our side,” and “that is partnership and friendship.”

He answered to a question, ‘do you expect Korea to send fighting troops in Iraq,’ “I cannot predict about that and it is for Korea to decide,” but “I have no doubt that the Korean government will help us,” so he made sure he expected sending fighting troops.

He said, “I recently visited Korea and had a good conversation with high ranking officials of the Ministry of Defense,” and stressed again, “America and Korea see the world in a same way and share many values.”

It is the first time that a high-ranking official of the American government officially say about Korea’s support of attacking Iraq.

The Deputy Secretary Zakheim answered to a question, ‘is there a chance that the war against terror to be spread to North Korea in near future,’ “The President Bush once clearly said he had no plan to do a military operation against North Korea,” and said, “you may take as the President Bush said.”

He then said, “An observance that there is a disarray in attacking Iraq by America is an exaggerated saying,” and attacking Iraq is only a “matter of time.”

In the meantime, the Government is known to decide its course of action according to the spirit of the Korea-America league when the Iraqi war of America is started.

A government official said, “There was no report from America about attacking Iraq, yet,” “but we will decide our course of action according to the spirit of the Korea America Mutual Defense Treaty in case that there is a detailed request for support from America.”

Ki-Heung Han Young-Sik Kim eligius@donga.com spear@donga.com