The South Korean Defence Ministry will send 130 combat troops to form a military unit in the eastern region of Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by the end of 2010 to boost military ties between the two countries.

Seoul Deputy Defence Minister Chang Kwang-il said the UAE had asked South Korea to send special warfare troops to help train its special forces in 2009 during talks between the countries to sign a nuclear reactor deal.

“Unlike troop deployment to a conflict zone, the dispatch to the UAE is aimed at helping contribute to national interests and improving military ties,” he said.

The ministry will send a bill on the troop dispatch to the Cabinet for deliberation before its submission for approval to the National Assembly.

The troops’ mission will include joint drills with the UAE and will not be responsible for protecting the construction sites of the reactors, according to Bernama.

South Korean firms won a contract worth about $20bn to build four nuclear reactors in the UAE by 2020.