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President’s Will to “Dispatching Troops Without Delay”

President’s Will to “Dispatching Troops Without Delay”

Posted December. 03, 2003 22:49,   


On December 3, President Roh Moo-Hyun said, “Although there could be many disputes about the bill (for dispatching troops to Iraq) in obtaining Parliament’s approval, the government will exercise it without any further delay,” and, “I will meet with representatives of the four parties soon to discuss the issue at a meeting with the six members of the Iraqi inspection team (leader Kang Chang-Hee lawmaker) in the Blue House.”

Immediately after the meeting, President Roh ordered the presidential secretary for national affairs, Lyu In-Tae, to prepare a meeting with the representatives of the four parties next week. Accordingly, the government is expected to submit a bill to obtain parliamentary approval for sending forces to Iraq through discussions with the political circles as soon as the National Assembly normalizes this. If the bill is passed this year, sending troops will happen around next February.

In the meeting at the Blue House, Han Chung-Su, a legislator from the New Millennium Democratic Party (NMDP) reported that legislators recommended Kirkuk as the region that the forces should take charge of, saying, “Kirkuk, in the northern part of Iraq, is an area where 40 percent of Iraq oil lies, public sentiment and security are both stable, and the number of stationed American troops there (around 3,100) is quite agreeable to our considerations.”

On the other hand, the National Security Council (NSC), in a report submitted to the National Defense Committee of the National Assembly that day, said, “We estimate the size of additional troops for dispatch to be less than 3,000 and to first ensure the force’s security, and we also will take a stance that the force should take charge of a small region where restoration and security maintenance are manageable.”

The NSC also added, “There are some voices claiming that the force should take charge of a place independently considering its own security, and the United States has expressed the same hope, but the government’s decision has not been made yet.”

Jeong-Hun Kim Yong-Gwan Jung jnghn@donga.com yongari@donga.com