South Korea is considering extending its troop dispatch to Iraq for another year but may cut the number of soldiers in the war-torn country by a third, news reports said Friday.
The Defense Ministry proposed the extension at a recent security ministers' meeting held at the presidential office, the mass-circulation Dong-a Ilbo newspaper reported, citing an unnamed government official.
The proposal is being weighed positively, it said.
Washington wants Seoul to extend the troop deployment. US President George W. Bush essentially asked for it at a summit with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun last week, saying the South Korean contingent in Iraq has a high reputation for its expertise, and he wants "continued cooperation" from Seoul, according to Roh's office.