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Troop Deployment Investigation Team Returns Home

Posted April. 19, 2004 21:18,   


Visiting round two candidate locations for Korean additional forces to Iraq, Irbil and Sulaimaniyah, a government joint investigation committee returned home on April 19 after a ten-day inspection.

The government will hold a National Security Council standing committee meeting on April 22 to decide upon the location for the deployment of an additional unit with the nickname Zayitun.

“Two candidate locations that both maintain good security conditions for Korean troops to be stationed at were found, because the national council and the Kurdish militia, the ‘Peshmer,’ are controlling security very well,” said the investigation committee chairman Song Ki-seok, who is also in charge of the operation team of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“These locations had to go through the double torture of economic sanctions and Saddam’s oppression, so requirements for post-war reconstruction support are increasing,” said chairman Song, adding “All parliament leaders, the Prime Minister and ministers we met during the investigation promised to support the troop dispatch of Korea.”

As for the matters taken into consideration when deciding on the final location, he mentioned geographical conditions like topography, roads, airports, rivers and rainfall; security conditions and degree of stability, leaders’ tendency towards the troop dispatch, condition of the location for operation and stationing, requirements for reconstruction, and conditions of support for combat duty.

The Defense Ministry is considering the respective merits of two sites. Irbil, the de-facto capital of the Kurds’ self-governing district is easy for munitions support as airport condition is satisfactory, and Sulaimaniyah where only 20 thousand Turkman tribes are living, has a very low possibility of ethnic dispute.

Ho-Won Choi bestiger@donga.com