ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – South Korean President Lee Myung-bak arrived in Ethiopia on Friday for a three-day visit that includes economic cooperation talks with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and a series of activities paying tribute to Ethiopia's participation in the Korean War.
Ethiopia is one of the 16 nations that sent combat troops as part of U.N. forces to help South Korea repel invading North Korean troops during the 1950-53 Korean War. A total of 3,520 Ethiopian troops were dispatched, with 121 of them killed and 535 injured.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of Ethiopia's participation in the war.
Lee, the first South Korean president to visit Ethiopia, plans to lay a wreath at the Korean War Memorial and meet with Korean War veterans on Saturday. Lee also plans to visit two villages on Saturday and Sunday to do volunteer work there in a symbolic gesture of repaying Ethiopia.
Friday will be spent on summit talks with Zenawi, officials said.
The two leaders plan to discuss ways to increase cooperation in projects where South Korea can share its development experience, as well as in green growth, agriculture, trade and resources, officials said.
Lee's trip also includes a speech at Addis Ababa University, a forum with business leaders of the two nations, visits to hospitals, a meeting with Korean volunteer workers and a workshop on sharing Korea's development experience.
Ethiopia is the last leg of Lee's three-nation African tour that earlier took him to South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lee is scheduled to return home on Monday. (Yonhap News)