Dili, October 7th 2019: His Excellency Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak received a courtesy visit at the Government Palace in Dili, this Monday, from the representative of South Korea’s Minister of National Defence, Lieutenant General Lee Seokgu, and the representative of the Armed Forces Chief of Staff of this Asian country, Brigadier General SeoYoung-man, who lead the delegation that came to Timor-Leste for the 20th anniversary of the South Korean Armed Forces Expedition to Timor-Leste (the Korean Evergreen Forces Dispatchment to Timor-Leste) celebrations.
In this visit, which was also attended by the South Korean Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Lee Chin-um, the Head of Government welcomed the military and wished them a pleasant stay in Timor-Leste. Also thanked in particular, the support of South Korea, that sent, 20 years ago, his military to join the UN peacekeeping mission.
The Head of Government has also taken this opportunity, on behalf of the Government of Timor-Leste, to express the sincere condolences to the people of South Korea, and especially to the families of the military who lost their lives in this mission.
On his hand, the representative of South Korea’s Minister of Defence, Lieutenant General Lee Seokgu, and his delegation expressed satisfaction and honour for being received by the Prime Minister in his office, and promised, as representative from the Minister of Defence, that South Korea will continue to maintain support for Timor-Leste’s development in several sectors, including Timor-Leste’s defence sector.
The presence of this South Korean Ministry of Defence delegation in Timor-Leste is related to the commemorations of the 20th Anniversary of the South Korean Armed Forces Expedition to Timor-Leste (the Korean Evergreen Forces Dispatchment to Timor-Leste). The delegation arrived in Dili on Saturday, October 5th, 2019, on a ROKAir Force 178 military aircraft, and among the members of this delegation came 45 militaries of the UN peacekeeping force, who participated in the mission in Timor-Leste in 1999.
In 1999, the Government of South Korea sent its forces of more than 3,000 troops to join the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces mission to restore peace and stability in Timor-Leste, in the post-1999 Popular Consultation period, which was followed by the total destruction carried out by the pro-Indonesian militias. During the mission to Timor-Leste, 5 South Korean Forces personnel lost their lives when they crossed the Tono River in what is now the Special Administrative Region of Oe-cússi Ambenu (RAEOA). END