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Lee sprays disinfectant at alleys, toilets as part of volunteer work in Ethiopia

All Headlines 06:20 July 10, 2011

ADDIS ABABA, July 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Lee Myung-bak sprayed disinfectant at alleys and toilets in Ethiopia on Saturday as he engaged in volunteer work at a poverty-stricken village in a symbolic gesture of returning the African nation's help during the Korean War.

Lee's visit to Kebena Village, one of four major poverty areas in this Ethiopian capital, was one of a series of activities aimed at paying tribute to Ethiopia's participation in the 1950-53 Korean War. The African nation sent over 6,000 troops to help South Korea fight off North Korea's invasion.

A total of 122 Ethiopian soldiers were killed and 536 injured. This year marks the 60th anniversary of Ethiopia's participation in the war. South Korean officials have said that the main theme of Lee's three-day visit to Addis Ababa would be to show gratitude for the help.

Lee is the first South Korean president to visit Ethiopia.

Wearing a facial mask and carrying a blue tank of disinfectant on his back, Lee walked around the village and sprayed the chemical at alleys, toilets and sewers. Lee also visited the home of a Korean War veteran at the village and expressed thanks for his service.

"Please remember that South Korea always loves you," Lee told the 79-year-old veteran.

Lee promised to invite him to South Korea so that he could see how much the country has developed since the war.

Lee later met with members of a village soccer team named, "People to People," and donated soccer gear.

First lady Kim Yoon-ok handed out medical supplies to villagers at a mobile medical clinic run by Korean volunteer workers.

Lee planned to do more volunteer work at another village on Sunday.


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