SEOUL, Sept. 1 (Yonhap) -- A South Sudanese city mayor has sent a thank-you note to South Korean President Park Geun-hye for Korean troops' reconstruction efforts in the war-torn African region, the defense ministry here said Monday.
Nhial Majak, mayor of the Bor Municipal Council in South Sudan, said he was "writing a handwritten letter to convey my utmost gratitude" with regard to operations by South Korea's Hanbit unit "that have been providing a tremendous amount of support for the local community."
South Korea dispatched a 280-strong contingent to Bor in March 2013 to help the African country's reconstruction efforts. The unit has been stationed in Bor, some 170 kilometers north of the capital, Juba.
He sent the seven-page letter on Thursday, and it was relayed to President Park the next day, according to the defense ministry.
Hailing the contingent as "a symbol of hope," he expressed gratitude for the troops' diverse reconstruction projects, such as building infrastructure and conducting rescue missions in emergency situations.
"The most recent achievement is the successful completion of the River Nile Embankment project ... It prevents flooding from the River Nile and mostly, it instills a sense of stability in the people, allowing the community to pursue greater feats for their development," he added.
Noting that he and his people aim "to become recognized globally as South Korea currently is," he expressed hope for strengthening relations between the two nations.
South Sudan declared its independence in July 2011 from its Arab-dominated northern neighbor of Sudan after decades of civil war that claimed 2 million lives. Tensions between the two Sudans still remain over border security and oil production.
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