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S.Korean President orders dispatch of rescue workers, medical supplies to quake-hit Turkey

Seoul, Feb 7 (IANS) South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Tuesdayordered the government to quickly send rescue workers and medical supplies to quake-hit Turkey, his office said.

Yoon’s instruction came a day after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, killing more than 4,300 people in the two neighbouring nations.

“President Yoon Suk Yeol this morning ordered the dispatch of rescue personnel using military aircraft to assist Turkey with the damage from the earthquake, and to swiftly move to send emergency medicine and medical supplies,” Yonhap News Agency quoted his office as saying.

In line with the instruction, around 60 members of an international rescue team considered among the best in the world will be sent to Turkey, senior presidential secretary for press affairs Kim Eun-hye said.

Yoon described Turkey as a “brother nation that immediately sent troops without hesitating following the Communist invasion in 1950”, she said.

Turkey fought alongside South Korea in the 1950-53 Korean War.

The presidential office said Yoon instructed the government to cooperate closely with the Turkish authorities through the foreign ministry and South Korea’s diplomatic missions in the country.

“President Yoon also ordered relevant ministries to work together around the foreign ministry to actively come up with assistance measures in the event Turkey requires additional assistance,” the office added.

Yoon extended his condolences in an early morning tweet on Tuesday, saying: “My heart goes out to the people of Turkey and Syria during this difficult time. Korea sends our deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. We stand ready to assist Turkey, a brotherhood forged in blood during the Korean War, in any way possible.”