No S. Korean ships subjected to piracy since May last year: gov’t


No South Korean ships have been targets of piracy since early last year as the country and allies enhance anti-piracy activity off Somalia, the South Korean government said.

Nine South Korean ships were pirated off Somalia between 2006 and May of last year, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said, adding it has not yet received any report on further piracy involving South Korean ships.

The ministry added that the number of attacks by pirates declined to 177 in the first six months of this year, down from 266 a year earlier.

During the January-June period, 20 ships were taken by pirates, compared with 29 during the same period a year earlier, the ministry said. Three hundred and thirty-four sailors were abducted, four were killed and another nine injured.

The ministry attributed the drop in piracy in the area to South Korea and other nations sending naval ships to the Gulf of Aden and other coasts frequented by pirates and ship owners allowing armed security guards on their ships.

South Korean navy commandos raided a South Korean freighter that had been hijacked by Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea in January and rescued all 21 crew members while killing eight pirates.

South Korea has extended the deployment of Korean troops on an anti-piracy missions in Somali waters for another year after the first one-year term completed at the end of last year.

The Cheonghae Unit has been deployed in the Gulf of Aden since early 2009 as part of a global effort to tackle piracy in the region.

The 300-strong contingent is tasked with protecting South Korean vessels off the Somalian coast and providing support to ships of other nations in nearby waters.


Leave a reply