updated 11/17/2005 9:34:44 PM ET 2005-11-18T02:34:44

South Korea plans to bring home about one-third of its troops from Iraq next year, the Defense Ministry said Friday.

Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung reported the plan to the ruling Uri Party on Friday, the ministry said.

The announcement comes a day after South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun met President Bush in the South Korean city of Gyeongju, where the leaders insisted that their countries’ alliance was strong and agreed to work together to curb North Korea’s nuclear weapons ambitions.

The Defense Ministry said it plans to include the troop reduction plan when it seeks parliamentary approval for extending the deployment in Iraq as it is required to do each year.

About 3,200 South Korean troops are stationed in northern Iraq to help rehabilitate the country, making South Korea the second-largest U.S.-coalition partner contributing forces after Britain.

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