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Army send-off held for 350 troops bound for Lebanon

South Korea’s Army held a send-off ceremony Thursday for 350 troops set to depart for Lebanon to replace its military contingent serving as U.N. peacekeepers in the Middle East nation.

The “Dongmyeong” (East Light) unit has been stationed in Lebanon since 2007 as part of the U.N. interim forces’ efforts to oversee a cease-fire and set up a buffer zone between Lebanon and Israel.

About 1,200 people attended the send-off ceremony held at an Army special forces unit in Gwangju of Gyeonggi Province, a suburb southeast of Seoul, including Army Chief of Staff Kim Sang-ki and family members of the departing troops, the Army said in a statement.

“The Dongmyeong unit is now being called ‘the role model of peacekeeping troops’ as it has successfully carried out its mission without a single accident,” Kim said at the ceremony, according to the statement.

“With pride in your mind as a representative of the nation, I hope that you can elevate the national status and promote the excellency of our military.”

The replacement, the eighth of its kind, will take place in two stages in late January and early February, the Army said. 

(Yonhap News)