The top Ecuadorian envoy in Seoul made a desperate appeal Friday for Koreans’ financial support to help his country emerge from the devastation caused by last week’s massive earthquake and ensuing aftershocks that claimed nearly 600 lives. During a press conference, Ecuadorian Ambassador Oscar Herrera Gilbert underscored the severity of material damages and human casualties, and the pressing need to secure relief supplies such as tents for more than 25,300 people displaced by the quakes. “Your support is critical in sharing the sadness that gripped Ecuador,” the somber-looking ambassador wearing a black suit told reporters, highlighting the longstanding bilateral relationship that dates back to the 1950-53 Korean War. “We (Ecuador) offered aid to South Korea during the Korean War. More than a half century later, we are now calling on you to extend your helping hand.” Given that Ecuador is far away from Asia, the best and fastest way to help the country is to offer assistance in the form of cash, the ambassador said, while expressing appreciation for the Seoul government’s decision to offer US$700,000 in aid to Ecuador. To collect monetary contributions, the Ecuadorian embassy has opened a temporary bank account at Korea Exchange Bank.
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