News / Africa

S. Korean Navy Frees Crew of Hijacked Chemical Tanker

South Koreans in Seoul watch TV news about South Korean navy military operation against Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, 21 Jan 2011
South Koreans in Seoul watch TV news about South Korean navy military operation against Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, 21 Jan 2011

South Korean naval special forces stormed a hijacked ship early Friday and rescued 21 sailors and killed a number of pirates in the Arabian Sea.

Five suspected kidnappers were captured.

President Lee Myung-bak went live on national television to announce the successful conclusion of the five-hour operation, 1,300 kilometers northeast of Somalia.

Mr. Lee told the country South Korea will not tolerate future attacks on any of its nationals.

The president says the military conducted the rescue operation perfectly under difficult circumstances. He says he appreciates the action of the forces and that it sends a message of encouragement.

The Norwegian-owned Samho Jewelry was heading to Sri Lanka from the United Arab Emirates when it was seized last Saturday, 650 kilometers southeast of the port of Muscat.

Mr. Lee added that other countries assisted with the raid but he did not elaborate. News reports say a navy ship from Oman was on the scene to support the South Korean operation.

On board the Malta-flagged chemical tanker was a crew of 11 Burmese, eight South Koreans and two Indonesians. It is operated by South Korea’s Samho Shipping.

Military officials in Seoul say a South Korean naval destroyer, the Choi Young, with 300 special forces aboard, tailed the hijacked ship for days before moving in early Friday.

Army Lieutenant General Lee Seong-ho, at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says at least eight of the kidnappers died while the skipper of the seized ship was shot in the stomach by the pirates. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.

General Lee says three of the rescuers suffered minor injuries as they came under fire from the kidnappers.

The general says the operation demonstrates South Korea’s strong will to never negotiate with pirates.

The government had vowed not endure a repeat of last year’s hijacking of an oil tanker also operated by Samho Shipping.

The Samho Dream and its crew were freed after 217 days, reportedly following a ransom payment of more than $9 million.

That prompted criticism here that the payment would encourage pirates to more aggressively target South Korean vessels.

A number of navies, from both developed and emerging nations, have intensified patrols in the pirate-infested waters surrounding Somalia. Most of the pirates are based in Somalia, which has not had a functioning government for the past 20 years.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid