SEOUL, March 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in offered his special thanks to the country's first overseas naval unit, Cheonghae, Tuesday in a message to mark the 10th anniversary of its deployment.
The president praised the 300-strong unit stationed in waters off Somalia as a proud part of history that marks South Korea's contribution to global peace and safety.
"I root for those who continue to help make peace and protect the safety of our people in the far away Gulf of Aden even at this very moment. Together with our people, I wish for the health and safety of the troops of the 28th batch of the Cheonghae Unit," the president said.
President Moon noted 8,478 South Korean sailors who have served with the unit so far have helped secure safe passage of over 21,900 vessels through the pirate-ridden gulf.
"Now the Cheonghae Unit has become an axis of peace in the Gulf of Aden. The Combined Maritime Forces Command is expressing its gratitude to the Republic of Korea for dispatching its best unit, Cheonghae," he said.
"As president, I am truly proud of you, service members of the Cheonghae Unit," the president added.
He also reiterated the importance of safeguarding peace in the area.
"Peace at sea is peace of the world. It is where we and the rest of the world coexist," he said. "Contributions of the Cheonghae Unit show our firm commitment to peace and are also helping to boost the confidence in our companies. The dedication and courage you have shown through strong waves are the foundation for the development of the Republic of Korea."
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