From Reuters: South Korea will send a security contingent of police and troops to Afghanistan to guard the work of a new and larger team of civilian engineers, its Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

South Korea will not allow the troops to engage in combat operations, a ministry spokesman said. Seoul has been under pressure to contribute troops to U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan but has said it would not send combat forces.

The announcement comes a week after U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ visit to the country and eases a potential point of friction ahead of a visit next month to Seoul by U.S. President Barack Obama. (photo: Life)