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South Korea Cabinet Approves Iraq Troop Cut

Officials in Seoul say the South Korean government has approved a proposal to withdraw one-third of the country's troops from Iraq, while extending the remaining soldiers' deployment by a year.

President Roh Moo-hyun's Cabinet endorsed the withdrawal of 1,000 troops during the first half of next year. Remaining members of the 3,200-strong South Korean contingent in Iraq would remain there until December 2006.

After a review by Mr. Roh, the troop-reduction bill is expected to go before Parliament by Wednesday.

South Korea's troops have been assigned to relief and rehabilitation efforts in the northern Iraqi town of Arbil since 2004. After the United States and Britain, Seoul's troops make up the third-largest force in Iraq.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.