S Korean Cabinet OKs troop dispatch to UAE

12:50, November 09, 2010      

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South Korea's Cabinet on Tuesday approved a bill that would allow South Korean combat troops to be dispatched to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), local media reported.

In a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik, the Cabinet gave a nod to the government's plan to send some 130 South Korean special forces to the Middle Eastern nation later this year to help them improve special operations capabilities.

South Korea's defense ministry previously said the troop deployment will "strengthen military cooperation and promote the national interest in safe, non-conflict areas with no potential combat risk."

The bill will now head to parliament, but opposition parties' strong criticism of the plan heralds a bitter partisan feud down the road. The opposition camp, including the main opposition Democratic Party, claim the deployment plan was in exchange for a lucrative business contract for South Korean firms to build four nuclear reactors in the UAE by 2020.

The ruling Grand National Party, which holds a solid majority in parliament, has denied such allegations.

Source: Xinhua


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