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Redeployment of Troops to Afghanistan Taking Shape

Posted October. 31, 2009 08:23,   


More Korean workers will be sent to form the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan, and hundreds of Korean troops and police will protect civilian aid workers there.

The move is seen as Seoul’s decision to redeploy troops to the war-torn country after withdrawing them in 2007.

A spokesman for the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry in Seoul said yesterday that an “appropriate” number of troops and police officers will be dispatched to protect the team and its facilities.

“The guard troops will not engage in combat activities other than exercising the right to defend the PRT and its own safety,” the spokesman said.

The number of staff on the team and security personnel was not released, but is unlikely to exceed 500.

Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan told the National Assembly that the number of personnel on the team will be around 130, while at least 200 guard troops will be sent to Afghanistan.

A government official also said the number will be in the hundreds, including civilian and military personnel.

Candidate locations for the reconstruction team include Kapisa, a province near Kabul; the central region of Daykundi; and Nimroz, a western province bordering Iran and where no reconstruction team is operating in.

Seoul could also take over the reconstruction work of another country in another province.

A government official said the 25-member Korean medical team at Bagram Air Base in Kabul will be increased to 85, adding that the reconstruction team will get 50 additional workers.

Therefore, the number of Korean troops to be sent to Afghanistan will likely be determined depending on the needs of some 50 civilian experts and the reconstruction team’s facilities.

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