The European Union's anti-piracy naval force says Somali pirates have hijacked a North Korean-flagged cargo ship.

The EU force says hijackers seized the MV Rim Wednesday in the Gulf of Aden, just south of the Yemeni coast.  In a statement, the EU force says the vessel has altered course and is now heading towards the Somali basin.

The statement says investigators are not certain how many crew members are on board the Libyan-owned ship, and do not know the nationalities of crew members.  

The statement says the vessel was outside a recommended travel corridor and had not made contact with maritime authorities in the region.

Somali pirates have hijacked dozens of ships over the last two years, taking in tens of millions of dollars in ransom.

On Monday, pirates released a Greek-owned cargo ship they captured two months earlier, after receiving a payment of some $3 million.


Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.