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Bush Thanks Roh for Troop Dispatch Decision

Bush Thanks Roh for Troop Dispatch Decision

BANGKOK - U.S. President George W. Bush extended his gratitude on Monday (Oct. 20) for South Korea's decision to dispatch troops to Iraq to join the U.N. effort to reconstruct the war-torn country.

During a summit meeting with President Roh Moo-hyun on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting here, Bush highly appreciated South Korea¡¯s decision, which would help solidify the alliance between the two countries.

¡°President Bush also stated the dispatch of troops will provide South Korea with an opportunity to enhance the nation¡¯s prestige in the international community,¡± said a joint statement adopted after the summit talks.

Explaining the background of Seoul¡¯s decision toward the troop dispatch, Roh said his government conducted a comprehensive review of the overall situation including the importance of the South Korea-U.S. alliance and national interests.

¡°We have decided to dispatch the troops to Iraq so as to provide assistance for a prompt establishment of peace and reconstruction in the Middle Eastern country,¡± he said.

Wary of the growing opposition at home to the move to send troops, Roh said his administration would come up with its final determination regarding the size, type and timing of the troop dispatch in consideration of public opinion and the capacity of the nation¡¯s military forces.

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