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Cheney Discusses Iraq Troop Deployment with S. Korea's Acting President - 2004-04-16

Vice President Dick Cheney left for the United States Friday, after making the final stop of his Asian tour in South Korea. The U.S. Vice President met with the country's acting president to discuss South Korea's Iraq troop deployment and the North Korean nuclear issue.

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney met with Acting President Goh Kun Friday. They discussed South Korea's commitment to deploy more troops to Iraq, as well as the North Korean nuclear issue.

A spokesman for Mr. Goh says he assured Mr. Cheney the Iraq troop deployment will go forward as planned in the near future.

Mr. Goh is replacing President Roh Moo-hyun, who was impeached last month. Mr. Roh is awaiting a court ruling on whether he will be allowed to return to office.

Three thousand South Korean troops will soon be deployed to support reconstruction in Iraq, making South Korea the third largest coalition military presence after the United States and Britain.

Mr. Cheney praised South Korea for its commitment, and compared the Iraq deployment to the U.S. and Korean alliance forged during the Korean War.

"Americans and Koreans are once again making sacrifices side by side, as we have done once before," he said.

Mr. Cheney also reiterated the shared resolve of South Korea and the United States to ensure an end to North Korea's nuclear weapons capability. "Our nations also stand together in insisting on a Korean peninsula that is free of nuclear weapons, and on the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear programs," said Dick Cheney.

Before departing South Korea, Vice President Cheney paid a visit to a U.S. military installation to address U.S. Army personnel. The United States has 37,000 troops stationed in South Korea.