U.S. Ups Pressure on Korea Over Afghanistan

      October 20, 2009 08:56

      U.S. Defense Department press secretary Geoff Morrell on Sunday claimed Korea has "an obligation" to support his government's war in Afghanistan. He made the remarks in an interview with the Chosun Ilbo on Sunday en route to Hawaii, the first stopover of Defense Secretary Robert Gates' Asian tour.

      Morrell said Korea has made "great contributions" to the execution of the Afghan war but urged it to continue at least the current level of support. He claimed all countries that wish for the peace and prosperity and economic growth of the world have an obligation to support Afghanistan.

      The spokesman was apparently aiming raise the pressure on Korea ahead of the annual Korea-U.S. Security Consultative Meeting.

      Morrell said Afghanistan needs "large-scale economic aid" now, and that any country that finds it difficult to give military support is asked to give financial aid. Although Korea has provided medical support, it would be better for the country to make contributions to other sectors as well, he said. A senior Pentagon official said the quicker Korea decides and the bigger its support, the better.

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