SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Yonhap) -- Away from home amid the new coronavirus pandemic, South Korean service members on missions overseas held diverse cultural events, some with local people, to mark the Lunar New Year holiday.
This year's Lunar New Year's Day, one of the country's biggest holidays, falls on Friday, and the four-day holiday runs from Thursday through Sunday.
Members of the Dongmyeong Unit in Lebanon met local residents online and introduced them to the traditional holiday and Korean culture, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).
They have offered Korean language and taekwondo classes online for locals to replace offline ones amid the COVID-19 situation, it added.
The unit has been operating as part of the U.N. force in the conflict-ridden country since 2007.
In South Sudan, the Hanbit Unit shared some holiday cheer by staging a joint memorial ceremony for ancestors and enjoying folk games and e-sports competitions while strictly adhering to antivirus measures, according to the JCS.
The unit has been in the African nation since 2013 to carry out U.N. peacekeeping operations.
The Cheonghae Unit on missions in the Gulf of Aden and the Strait of Hormuz, as well as the Akh Unit in the United Arab Emirates, also took some time to celebrate the holiday, while maintaining a readiness posture by conducting naval operations and joint drills with UAE troops, respectively, the JCS said.
"Amid COVID-19 and other unfavorable situations, we've been able to carry out our duties thanks to the people. We will do our best to perfectly fulfill our work to heighten the national status," Lt. Col. Park Yong-gyu, who leads the Akh Unit, said.
Currently, more than 1,030 South Korean troops are operating on overseas missions in 13 countries for reconstruction, armistice monitoring and other peacekeeping missions.
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