S Korea considering to make more contributions in Afghanistan: official

16:32, October 20, 2009      

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A senior South Korean official on Tuesday said his government is considering of making more contributions in Afghanistan, according to South Korea's Yonhap New Agency.

South Korea has promised to expand its support to the war-torn Central Asian country by providing medical service and vocational training there, but it is "not all", and Seoul will have to do "something more", the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

However, the official did not give the elaboration on whether the future contributions would include troop dispatch.

The official made the remark in response to a Pentagon official's comments that South Korea has an "obligation" to play a bigger role in the U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan.

U.S. Defense Department spokesman Geoff Morrell said Sunday while accompanying Defense Secretary Robert Gates on trips to South Korea, Japan and Slovakia, that financial aid is what Afghanistan needs most currently and South Korea and Japan have the means to help develop the country.

Morrell hoped that the current levels of aid provided by Seoul for Afghanistan can be maintained or increased in the future, and expected Seoul can offer economic assistance as soon as possible.

"The principle of the United States is not to demand military help (from Seoul). It has constantly called for non-military help including economic assistance, humanitarian aid, and police training," the South Korean official was quoted as saying.

"But South Korea has its own responsibility in the international community to make contributions to match its status and national power," he said, noting that "troop dispatch is not a matter to be decided at another country's request," according to Yonhap.

Source: Xinhua
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