Paraguay has designated April 22 as a national day to honor the country's Korean population who first settled in the country half a century ago, the foreign ministry here said Tuesday.
On April 22, 1965, 95 South Koreans arrived by boat in Paraguay's capital Asuncion after joining a government program that sent workers abroad amid extreme poverty at home.
Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes issued a presidential decree designating the day as a national day and expressed special affection for the Korean community that has settled successfully in his country through hard work and diligence, the ministry said.
It is the first time the Paraguayan government has designated a day to honor an immigrant community.
"We are grateful to Paraguay, which gladly accepted our immigrants when we were in difficult times," the ministry quoted South Korean Ambassador to Paraguay Hahn Myung-jae as saying.
"We will put in our best efforts to help Paraguay take a leap toward becoming the heart of South America through (our government's) assistance and the investment of our firms and to further deepen our countries' ties."
About 5,000 South Koreans currently live in the South American nation. The number earlier reached as many as 30,000. (Yonhap)